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Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid's Tale's second season

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Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid's Tale's second season

Post by Alabama on Tue May 01, 2018 11:20 pm

Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid's Tale's second season
Last updated 11:00, April 21 2018

The Handmaid's Tale was one of the most talked-about shows of last year. 

Set in the near-future in the fictional land of Gilead where women are second-class citizens and fundamentalist Christians are in charge, the gripping but grim series sparked much discussion around women's rights in the Trump era.

The 10-part series, which was based on a Margaret Atwood novel, also increased the star power of its lead Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake, Mad Men), who won an Emmy for her portrayal of the oppressed Offred.

Elisabeth Moss says she has  very little vanity when it comes to acting.

The character is known as a handmaid, a woman valued only for her fertility in a world when fertility rates are in rapid decline.

She wears a starched white bonnet and shapeless floor-length red robe and lives with a childless married couple in the hope she will bear them a child.

The Handmaid's Tale provoked much discussion when it hit screens last year.

Offred's existence is a miserable one. Before an uprising which overthrew the government and put the fundamentalists in charge, she had a husband, a child and a job. 

But her family and job have disappeared and her rights are non-existent. Refusing to play by the rules typically results in brutal punishment.

At the end of last season, a pregnant Offred was in big trouble for an act of rebellion and was last seen stepping into an ominous black van.
Moss, 35, who is a Scientologist, is returning for the show's second season and it is unclear whether life will better or worse for Offred and her fellow handmaids.

"I think our first episode, the subject matter that it is and being where we are in the story, it is pretty full-on," says Moss.

"It is a bit more of a darker, violent episode. I could name another one, which I won't, because I don't want spoil anything, you know, where I could say it's so romantic and beautiful and elegant and sad, but beautiful, you know? 

"I was watching an episode the other day, I can't remember which one it was, but it (was) literally making me laugh out loud."

The show, which stars Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story), Samira Wiley (Orange Is The New Black) and Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls), has been labelled timely for the way in which it highlights injustice against women.

Last year some female activists, who were inspired by Offred's attire, even dressed as handmaids at real-life events to protest about women's rights. 

"I think you know, obviously part of the thing about the Time's Up and the #metoo movement is that it has been going on for a very long time. Margaret wrote this book in 1985, and I think that the themes in that book of sexual assault and rape and violence have been around for a very long time, and so we're just kind of continuing to bring a voice to that story and continuing to bring a voice to women who have experienced this," says Moss.

"I would say that there is, for me, in the second season, being involved in the show and then also being involved in the Time's Up movement, etc., that there is a sort of slightly more present relevance for me. I feel a sense of responsibility to tell the story of a person who is a survivor of assault. It definitely feels very present."

In The Handmaid's Tale book, Offred does not wear make-up and it was initially thought this was the case for Moss as well during filming. However, she insists this isn't the case.

"There's not make-up that makes you look better (but) there can be make-up that makes you look worse," she says.

Moss believes this is helpful when playing Offred.

"I have very little vanity when it comes to acting, like I'm a girly girl when it comes to my life ... I like to wear make-up and stuff. 

"So I have vanity as Lizzy, but as the character I don't really have any vanity so I don't really think about it at all. It just makes sense to me that she wouldn't be wearing (it).

"I find the make-up that Burton (Leblanc, a make-up artist) does for me is really helpful because he can make me look worse, he can make me look more tired, he can make me look more distressed, or like I've been crying, or whatever, and that actually helps me do my job."



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