‘The Handmaid’s Story’ Team on Social Relevance in a Post-Trump World

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After a 12 months and a half, dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Story” is returning to Hulu amid a notably totally different social and political local weather than the one it left. However in doing so, it should inevitably replicate on the place we’ve been, in addition to supply a fictional take on the place we could also be going.

“I’m extra targeted proper now [on] how the present pertains to the post-Trump period,” stated showrunner Bruce Miller throughout a digital Tv Critics Assn. press tour panel for the present on Thursday. “Plenty of the present this season is about ready for issues to snap again to regular, and anticipating issues to snap again to regular and why aren’t they snapping again to regular and when am I going to really feel regular and so they had been alleged to be regular?! So, I believe that as a lot as we’re addressing the issues that got here up throughout the Trump period, we’re addressing the issues that come up in the post-Trump period, however I believe that’s as a result of the three folks on this name and all of the folks in the writers’ room and all our folks on the solid live in that world.”

That stated, Miller added that though the present has social relevance, “simply to be again entertaining folks, I believe, is the factor that all of us need to do.”

When “The Handmaid’s Story” was final streaming new episodes, Donald Trump was nonetheless holding the presidential workplace throughout the summer time of 2019, when the third season of the streaming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel of the identical title wrapped up. Household separation was making information headlines, as had been a number of taking pictures incidents throughout the US and allegations of trafficking and different intercourse offenses in opposition to Jeffrey Epstein, who was discovered useless in jail the week earlier than the finale episode. The COVID-19 pandemic was nonetheless months aways; renewed cries for the tip to systemic racism had been a 12 months away; though the primary democratic debates had been going down, the 2020 election felt miles away, and the thought of an assault on the U.S. Capitol was solely a work of fiction.

“It’s not a kind of ‘Legislation & Order’ exhibits the place you rip from the headlines — that’s not what we do,” actor, government producer and episodic director Elisabeth Moss stated. “I believe a lot of our story tends to resonate with folks and really feel related as a result of these themes are by no means going to be one thing that’s not related and doesn’t really feel truthful. Sadly, then there are these gigantic occasions that occur in actual life, which were in the ebook or it have occurred on the present, which is much past me to remark on, however I believe for all of us and for what I what I really feel is most related concerning the present is the humanity of it and the human nature.”

The fourth season of “The Handmaid’s Story” picks up instantly after the occasions of the third season finale, in which Moss’ titular June was shot after serving to dozens of youngsters escape Gilead and take refuge in Canada. June clearly survives — as Miller put it, “The present’s referred to as ‘The Handmaid’s Story’: it’s about her” — and her resolve to maintain combating the oppressive forces that allowed Gilead to take form solely grows stronger.

“A lot of June’s journey, particularly in the again half of the season [is] about a feeling of rage and anger,” Moss previewed, including that June gained’t give into the will to simply “sweep issues underneath the rug.”

“A lot of what June’s journey is is screaming into the wind, ‘We won’t overlook,’” she defined.

Behind-the-scenes of the fourth season of “The Handmaid’s Story” noticed modifications, as nicely, resulting from COVID-19, which necessitated some rewriting of scenes and distant collaboration.

“This was a very unusual 12 months and a lot of us weren’t there,” Miller stated of being on set in Toronto.

To maintain solid and crew as protected as attainable, Miller stated, they discovered themselves the place they had been taking pictures in another way as a result of some places would permit for fewer folks to be collectively safely than others, and so they additionally actively decreased the variety of folks in scenes.

“Thee sensible realities of manufacturing and making the present on the bottom had been very, very tough. However the folks in entrance of the digicam, we tried for the mot half to guard that area — that these guys had been doing what they might have been doing any method,” Miller stated. “The largest change was it was tough to get our solid into Canada to shoot. We needed to preserve folks out of episodes just because they didn’t have sufficient time in their schedules.”

That stated, the crew didn’t permit the pandemic to restrict the scope of their present. In truth, government producer Warren Littlefield stated, Season 4 is their “most formidable manufacturing 12 months as a result of we’re on the market following this journey.” Fairly than have a “house base” with important standing units such because the Waterford home in the primary season and even Commander Lawrence’s home in the third season, Season 4 sees June on the run.

“All that claustrophobia we had in the primary three seasons in the home has now been exploded to precisely the alternative,” Miller added.

Amid all of this, Moss not solely made her directorial debut on the present, directing the third episode, however she then helmed a block (Episodes 8 and 9) on the finish of the season, as nicely. She “directed for a few weeks then needed to cease for months then got here again [among] COVID,” Miller stated. “From prep to taking pictures to put up Lizzie and that i had been by no means in the identical room. We spoke however we had been by no means face-to-face. She did this utterly remotely and it’s tough sufficient, directing tv; it’s very tough directing your individual self and your individual present.”

“The Handmaid’s Story” Season 4 premieres April 28 with the primary three episodes, after which will launch the remainder of the 10-episode season weekly on Wednesdays. Watch a teaser for the brand new season above.

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