Elisabeth Moss discloses the unexpectedly amusing reasons she chose to join the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale, a Bruce Miller production based on the same-named 1985 Margaret Atwood novel, debuted on Hulu in 2017 and has garnered praise from critics with each new season. The fifth season of the series debuted on Hulu on September 14 and is anticipated to finish up the tangled intertwined political and personal lives of its main ensemble in season six.
Moss acknowledges that what ultimately led her to accept the offer was the emergence of a different contender for the show’s lead part during her appearance on Josh Horowitz‘ podcast Happy Sad Confused. She added that while she was previously drawn to the bleak premise of The Handmaid’s Tale and intrigued by the possible dramatic complexity she could explore in the role of June, she only jumped at the chance to get the lead role when another unnamed actress was in negotiations to take her place.
Moss said, “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.”
Moss joins a growing group of actors and actresses who have expressed an interest in getting more involved with their show’s production off-screen in addition to their on-camera labour. As June, who is also known as Offred in the new dystopian society she finds herself in at the start of the series, Moss has led the cast throughout the show’s so far successful run.
The success of the episodes Moss has directed and her newfound passion of directing have been praised, despite the fact that many of these situations can seem like vanity endeavours simply giving actors who have played one character for a long time the chance to expand their creative wings.