The Strong Women Behind The Handmaid’s Tale

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is the Hulu show that everyone has been talking about since it first premiered in 2017. The show is based upon the book written by Margaret Antwood with the same name. Both the book and show revolve around a future world where women are enslaved. They are turned into Handmaids and they are forced to serve high powered families by acting as servants and conceiving children to give to these families. The theocratic regime of Gilead makes sure that every enslaved woman stays in line, even if severe punishment is needed. The show is based on how women are ranked in society. There are other roles played by women in the show, however, none of them have any real power, seeing as all the power is left to the men. If a woman forgets her place, it is up to the men to remind her where she stands. However, what makes this show so inspiring is that regardless of their hurdles, women still find the power within themselves to sometimes fight back and undermine the men’s control. There are different roles of the women in the show. They can be Handmaids, Marthas, Aunts, or even wives. Each woman wears a uniform that completely strips them of their femininity. Many of these women are even stripped of their own names.

With the show being so thought-provoking and powerful, it is no wonder that these actresses are taking over the headlines. They are real-life feminist icons and they do everything they can t promote the most important social issues today whenever they can. It is wonderful to see these ladies in real life where they are powerful and able to take a stand for what they believe in. Here’s a look into the women behind the characters of the show.

Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne)

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The main protagonist of the show, June Osborne is played by the incredibly talented Elisabeth Moss. June is the Handmaid of Fred and Serena Waterford, and she is forced to conceive a child with Fred for the family. June’s character wears the Handmaid’s signature red robes, and it is wonderful to see the actress in something glamorous! The actress won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role in the show, and she was also made executive producer on the second season of the show. Elisabeth, who looks so beautiful and glowing in this photo, proves that women can still achieve incredible things and look stunning while doing it.

Samira Wiley (Moira)

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Samira Wiley plays June’s best friend, Moira, on the show. Moira is a fierce and sassy lady who doesn’t back down and isn’t afraid to speak what she’s thinking. After escaping a dark fate in Gilead, she joins the fight against it in Canada. You may also recognize Samira from playing Poussey Washington in the critically acclaimed Netflix Drama ‘Orange is the New Black’. Moira is mainly seen in flashbacks during the show or in Canada and is seen in very simple clothing. Samira, however, unlike both of her characters can be very glam in her real life.

Alexis Bledel (Emily)

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Alexis Bledel plays Emily (otherwise known as the first Ofglen). In the show, she plays a former professor who became a Handmaid when the takeover happened. Emily is a very strong-willed and determined character, and she has proved time and time again that she has guts. Although we have mostly seen her in a red cape in the show, in real life she doesn’t lack glamour whatsoever. It looks as though Alexis has certainly grown up since she played Rory Gilmore on the dramedy ‘Gilmore Girls’. It looks like she is more interested in taking very serious roles as well.

Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy Waterford)

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On the show, Yvonne plays Serena Joy. Serena is Commander Waterford’s wife, and she is probably one of the most complex characters on the show. She is a compassionate woman, but she barely shows that to the other characters on the show. She walks around looking very stern and she takes action in a very cruel manner. However, in real life, Yvonne couldn’t be more different. The actress is actually very goofy in real life and she is rarely seen without a big smile stretched across her face.

Nina Kiri (Alma)

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Alma, who is played by actress Nina Kiri, is also one of the Handmaids. She does not do as she is told and she does not keep her head down. She is involved in the resistance movement called ‘Mayday’ which is meant to help the Handmaids of Gilead. Nina is a very new actress on the scene and she has mainly done horror thriller movies before landing the role as Alma on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. In real life, Nina describes herself as a free spirit who adores traveling.

Bahia Watson (Brianna)

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Bahia Watson is the actress who plays Brianna on the show and she is one of June’s friends. While Bahia is another actress who just recently came onto the scene, she does many other things besides acting. She is a playwright, and she also writes poetry and short stories. According to the photo, it also looks like this girl has an awesome and unique sense of fashion too! You go, girl!

Jennessa Grant (Dolores)

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Dolores is another Handmaid, and she is one who arrives with June and Moira to the Red Center (where all the Handmaids are trained) and she receives a very cruel punishment. She is played by Jenessa Grant, who you may recognize from shows like Reign, or the sci-fi action series Orphan Black. The Canadian actress is 29 years old, and her Instagram is full of beautiful pictures of herself and her surroundings. In this photo, we can really appreciate her natural beauty which is normally overrun by the very red and heavy cape on the show.

Marisa Tomei (Mrs. O’Conner)

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When Marisa Tomei made a guest appearance on the first episode, everyone was talking about it. She plays the former wife, Mrs. O’Conner, who was punished and sent to the colonies for having an affair. There in the colonies, she is treated horribly by the Handmaids, as retribution for the role she plays in Gilead. Marisa is almost barely recognizable in the show and seeing as she is one of the most beloved actresses in Hollywood, it is easy to believe she is much different from her character on the show.

Ever Carradine (Naomi Putnam)

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Ever Carradine plays the character of Naomi Putnam, who is one of the wives on the show and Serena’s good friend. In the show, she is a very serious and stern woman and she gets very defensive when it comes to defending herself of her baby, Angela. In reality, Ever is far less serious as you can probably tell from the photo above. She comes from a family of very famous actors, so it is no surprise that she decided to step into the world of acting herself.

Tattiawna Jones (Lillie)

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Lillie is probably one of the most fierce and strong-willed Handmaids on the show. At first, she isn’t very resistant to the situation in Gilead, since she used to suffer from substance addiction and she now has a safe home where she can stay clean. However, she is the first one to refuse to stone their friend Janine-another Handmaid- as punishment. Later on, an explosion occurs that takes many of the Commanders’ lives in Gilead. We almost didn’t recognize Tattiawna Jones in the show since she looks so different in real life!

Rebecca Rittenhouse (Odette)

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Rebecca Rittenhouse plays Odette, Moira’s fiancee. They are separated when the takeover first begins and it is later discovered by Moira that Odette didn’t survive after they last saw each other. Rebecca Rittenhouse is new to the acting scene, and she has been on shows like ‘Red Band Society’, ‘Blood & Oil’, and ‘The Mindy Project.’ Looks like she has a great acting career ahead of her!

Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia)

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Ann Dowd won an Emmy for playing the serious and cruel role of Aunt Lydia on the show. Aunt Lydia is a controversial and complex character. Although many times she is seen caring for the Handmaids, she is also incredibly cruel to them and she is quick to punish them all. Good thing in real life, Ann Dowd is a super nice person! The outfit above certainly suits her more than the Aunt uniform she has to wear on the show. However, her talent and beauty are undeniable regardless of what she is wearing.

Kristen Gutoskie (Beth)

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Beth appears in the episode where Commander Waterford takes June to the club called ‘Jezebel’s.’ Beth is a Martha that is assigned to the club who does business and trades with the Waterford’s Guardian, Nick. She also makes romantic passes at him, which he refuses due to his feelings for June. Kristen Gutoskie had a recurring role on hit CW show ‘The Vampire Diaries’ as Seline, who was also less than amicable. However, in real life Kristen is lovely!

Clea DuVall (Sylvia)

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Clea DuVall plays Sylvia, Emily’s wife from her life before she had become a Handmaid. They had a child together, but when they were about to leave the country, they realized Emily wasn’t going to be allowed out of Gilead, and they had to go their separate ways. The actress, writer, and producer has been seriously busy since she began acting. She has played in over 80 credits!

Cherry Jones (Holly)

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Cherry Jones plays Holly, who is June’s strong mother and feminist. She is often seen in flashbacks on the show. At first, Holly seems like she is very judgemental, as she often doesn’t approve of June’s life choices. She is hardly there for her since she is busy working feminist agendas against the anti-woman movement. But June eventually realizes that her mother was right in dedicating her time to the cause. In real life, Cherry Jones is a gifted actress who has won both a Tony Award and an Emmy. Can you believe she is 61 years old?! We can’t.

Kelly Jenrette (Annie)

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Annie doesn’t really seem to be everyone’s favorite character on the show. Also mostly seen in flashbacks, she was Luke’s first wife before June began seeing him (while he was still married). After Luke ends things with her, she yells at June, accusing her of stealing her husband. Although June may have been in the wrong, she is still the main character, so it was hard to choose a side! Regardless, Kelly Jenrette is the talented actress who portrays her, and we just love her smile in this photo!

Sydney Sweeney (Eden Spencer)

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Sydney Sweeney plays the very young and very innocent Eden, who ends up marrying Nick but falls in love with another Guardian. She believes that she has done absolutely nothing wrong, which is what leads to her demise, but it is her strength up until the end that inspires us in the show. In real life, Sydney is 20 and just as fierce. Her Instagram page also shows us that she is really making the most out of life!

Erin Way (Erin)

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Erin Way plays Erin, a Handmaid who was rescued by Mayday, but still could not speak due to a trauma she experienced before her rescue. She eventually breaks her silence and delivers an iconic line in the show. She says, “blessed be the Froot Loops”, instead of the Gilead line, “Blessed be the fruit.” Erin Way is great at playing a quirky role, but in real life, she’s just a girl that loves to have fun!

Madeline Brewer (Jenine)

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Janine is probably one of the most iconic characters on the show. She is mentally unstable, and as a Handmaid, she runs into problems, one of which is losing an eye as a punishment for talking back to Aunt Lydia. However, through the duration of the show, she manages to stay positive and strong. Madeline Brewer looks totally different than her character in real life! Thankfully, she has both her eyes intact seeing as they’re so beautiful!

Amanda Brugel (Rita)

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Amanda Brugel plays Rita on the show, the Waterfords’ Martha, who is responsible for doing all the cooking in the house. She is very obedient and keeps her head down, but she also tries to help June even though it means that she might end up in some trouble. She wears gray outfits in the show (as Martha’s do), but in real life, Amanda has a very colorful sense of style. Regardless of what she wears, we can all agree she is a very beautiful woman!