Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian 1985 novel, is nothing short of a horror story. Set in the aftermath of a second civil war, the story follows a theonomic government’s establishment of a totalitarian hierarchical regime that is rooted in religious fanaticism. In the state of Gilead, women are stripped of their rights and are enslaved, with the patriarchal government forcing them to surrender to ritualized rape. Whether or not you’ve seen the show, you’ve heard whispers of it. The red robes and white bonnets are hard to miss.
Actress Elisabeth Moss leads the series as June Osborne (Offred), a concubine “handmaid” who strives to fight back and retaliate against the systemic injustice and its crimes. Seeing real-world issues tossed around as full-fledged metaphors in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a lot harder to watch than one can imagine. It’s safe to say Elisabeth Moss is sure to have had some dark, emotionally taxing moments during the Emmy-winning show’s filming. Surprisingly, the award-winning performer — who also served as a director on multiple season 4 episodes — said her most significant moment of hardship has to do with Toronto’s unforgiving winters and not the show’s sinister plot.