Elisabeth Moss is opening up about the surprisingly humorous motivation behind her decision to join the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale. Based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel of the same title, The Handmaid’s Tale, created by Bruce Miller, premiered on Hulu in 2017 and has continued to receive critical acclaim with each passing season. Season 5 of the show premiered on Hulu on September 14 and is expected to conclude with season 6, wrapping up the complicated interconnected personal and political lives of its central cast.
Throughout the series’ successful run thus far, Moss has led the cast as the show’s protagonist June, also known in the new dystopian society in which she finds herself at the start of the show, as Offred. The intense dramatic role has arguably been the biggest starring turn of Moss’s career, earning her two of the seventeen Emmy Awards won by the show, one for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the other in the category for Outstanding Drama Series for her work as a producer. Despite the vast reverence Moss has gained as the show’s lead, fans may be surprised to know that she was initially hesitant to play June.
While appearing on Josh Horowitz’ podcast Happy Sad Confused, Moss admits that it was the emergence of another candidate for the lead role in the show that pushed her to accept the offer. She clarified that, while she was already intrigued by the dark premise of The Handmaid’s Tale and interested in the dramatic complexity she could potentially explore in playing June, it was when another unnamed actress was in talks to play the protagonist instead that she jumped at the chance to secure the lead role. See what she had to say below:
« This script came and it was so good, and I was like « How are they gonna do The Handmaid’s Tale? That’s crazy. And then the first script was amazing, and the second script was amazing, and I was like ‘I don’t think I cannot do this.’ Actually the truth is that I was thinking about not doing it, and then they told me [about] an actor they were thinking about going to next… And it was an actress that I like, and I was like ‘hell no… no way is she getting the chance to do this.’ And so that’s what actually ultimately pushed me to say yes: Competition. »
Fortunately for fans of the show and Moss alike, she has brilliantly led the show’s cast and has even expanded the possibilities of her career to fulfill her industry aspirations beyond acting. In addition to starring in and producing The Handmaid’s Tale, Moss made her directorial debut in the show’s fourth season, directing three episodes: “The Crossing,” “Testimony,” and “Progress.” For the show’s current fifth season, Moss has again directed three episodes, including the eagerly anticipated season finale.
Moss joins a growing list of actors and actresses who have sought involvement with the behind-the-scenes aspects of their show in addition to their on-camera work. While many of these instances can feel like vanity projects simply allowing performers who have played one part for a long time to spread their creative wings, Moss’ newfound love of directing has been met with praise for her natural instincts and the success of the episodes she has helmed. Her involvement in all aspects of the show seems to be a testament to her deep passion for The Handmaid’s Tale, and shows a clear departure from her initial uncertainty around joining the show.
Source: Happy Sad Confused Podcast
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