Hulu picked the absolute best time to adapt Margaret Atwood's dystopian masterpiece The Handmaid's Tale. The political relevancy of a series where women lose autonomy over their bodies in the face of a political regime that favors men in power is all too real, and it seems the cast agrees. During a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the series premiered, castmember Alexis Bledel shared that she hopes The Handmaid's Tale inspires political engagement. Bledel said,
"I hope if a young person watches the show, and the relevance of the material stirs up a lot of emotions in them, I hope that it has a positive effect. That the emotion can be put into a positive action, like calling or writing congressmen or volunteering or something proactive for the greater good."
As Ofglen, Bledel plays an interesting character who is paired up with her fellow handmaiden Offred, played by Elisabeth Moss. It's a far cry from Bledel's most famous role as the Gilmore Girls' Rory, but it's one she plays well. As for her hopes for the series, the actor's desire to see the show create a positive change in the world was echoed by her castmates and crew across the board.
For cinematographer Reed Morano, the story of Offred is a reminder that nothing should be taken for granted in life. "Everything in the book is something that's happening in the world or has happened and I just thought we're so sheltered here," Morano explained.
Ultimately, The Handmaid's Tale is the journey of a women seeking to reclaim herself, and while it will be hard to watch, it should also leave people wanting to make a difference. Bledel's eloquent answer about the impact she hopes the show has on its audience is perfect.
There are a precious few shows are in a position to spur people toward social activism the way that The Handmaid's Tale is. Actor Ann Dowd has a desire to see the show's costumes become a symbol for peaceful rebellion. At the festival, Dowd said,
"I hope this has a massive affect on people, and I hope they picket The White House. I hope they're wearing these costumes .... and I hope it's all over the place and that it doesn't end, and that we never underestimate the power of morons."
Ultimately, executive producer Warren Littlefield summed up the show's goal the best. He just hopes the show will lead people to "do something." Not acting in the face of political oppression is what leads to The Handmaid's Tale's dark setting, which is why becoming socially active and engaging with all levels of the government is so vital if you don't want our world to ever look like the one Ofglen and Offred reside in.
Additional reporting by Martha Sorren.