As The Handmaid’s Tale gears up to premiere its third season on Hulu, actors on the show said they never expected the fictional dystopia to be as culturally relevant as it is today.
“I didn’t ever expect for the show to have the influence and to be so haunting,” Madeline Brewer said on BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM.
Originally adapted from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, the Hulu series will start streaming Season 3 on Wednesday. Brewer plays the role of Janine, a handmaid in Gilead, the dystopian world that exists after religious and conservative extremists took over what used to be the United States of America.
Janine, one of the many characters tasked with living with commanders and their wives who lead the state of Gilead, is also forced to produce children.
“The show is difficult to watch because of the parallels that a lot of people draw between the show and our everyday lives,” Brewer said.
Amanda Brugel, who plays the character Rita on the show, also told BuzzFeed News she never expected The Handmaid’s Tale would feel as culturally relevant as it does now, because at the time the show was filming, she didn’t think Donald Trump would be elected president.
“I thought that we were going to have a very different president when the show first started, and then it was about a month and a half in, and it changed narratives,” Brugel said. “We couldn’t have possibly imagined when I signed up that we would be so much a part of everyday conversation because of how similar the show is to reality right now.”
Rita is a Martha to the Waterford family in Gilead. In this fictional world, Marthas are infertile women who can’t serve the state as handmaids, but act as housekeepers who cook and clean for commanders and their wives.
Brugel said she thinks the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale feels more necessary than ever because not only is the show interesting in its own right, but Season 3 continues to “keep pushing on the issues.”
“Especially with the third season, [it’s] just about fighting and resisting,” Brugel said. “I think it’s really important because it gives the audience a chance to discuss it, it gives women a chance to see how powerful they can be when they unify.”