Check out this interview Yvonne did with Cosmopolitan about “The Handmaid’s Tale” and her character Serena Joy. This interview contains spoilers if you have not watch the first three episodes that are now available on Hulu!
There’s a reason people are comparing Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale to our current political climate: It’s about a world where women’s rights are stripped away in a totalitarian return to “traditional values.” It also features protests, terrorism, and a character who’s already drawn comparisons to Ivanka Trump and the 53 percent of white women who voted for her father: the Commander’s wife, Serena Joy.
In the book, Serena Joy is an older woman who walks with a cane and shows no remorse for her role in the rise of Gilead (she was a gospel star who preached about the sanctity of the home). On the show, she’s closer in age to her handmaiden, Offred (played by Elisabeth Moss), and seems at least a little bit contrite, however unforgivable. (She was once an author who wrote about “domestic feminism.” That backfired.) Here, Yvonne Strahovski talks about adapting her character for TV and why Serena Joy is a cautionary tale.
How does Serena Joy being closer in age to Offred change their dynamic?
Yvonne: It offers so much to play with, in terms of the power play, because you have these two women, and one is at the top of the food chain in terms of women in this society, and the other one is at the bottom. Maybe they could have been friends outside the world of Gilead, but they’re not allowed to be now, and they’re pitted against each other. Exploring that, it was so fascinating; I had so many surprise moments with Lizzy when we were shooting scenes, things came up that we didn’t think were going to be there. Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Yvonne Strahovski on Serena Joy’s Role in the Rise of Gilead