The Handmaids Tale: Serena Joy star opens up on horrendous role I had trouble

The Handmaid's Tale: June Osborne prepares for trial in teaser

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After a shocking cliff-hanger end to season four, Hulu streamers are eagerly awaiting the release of the fifth season. Ahead of its premiere actress Yvonne Strahovski disclosed her real feelings about playing the evil commander’s wife, Serena Joy Waterford, on The Handmaid’s Tale.

Serena Joy Waterford was introduced to viewers in season one as the wife of Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).

It was later revealed that she was also one of the establishers of the patriarchal state, as an anti-feminist she had even written a novel called A Woman’s Place.

In Gilead, she was assigned a new Handmaid who would obtain a child for her, as she was infertile.

After leaving the Red Centre where she underwent cruel training to become a Handmaid, June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) was assigned to the Waterford’s household.

Despite being instrumental in the formation of Gilead, Serena was ultimately struck out by the government after the state took over America.

It was due to the new rules that ensure women never “forget their real purpose.”

Serena was evil to June, this began with the ritualised act of Ceremony, where she had to hold the Handmaid down, while she was being raped by Fred.

When June didn’t conceive, she forced Fred’s driver Nick Blaine (Max Minghella) to impregnate the Handmaid under her watchful eye.

Actress Yvonne Strahovski recently opened up in an interview with about what it was like playing an evil character.

She confessed: “I’ve definitely had trouble leaving my judgments at the door, there’s been so many moments where I’m reading it or in the middle of the scene thinking ‘this is horrendous’.”

“During the first and second season it was harder for me to not judge her, but now that I know her so well and very much settled into the role it’s afforded me some fun and on the flip side of how atrocious she is,” she explained.

The Serena star added: “As an actor when you have this gift of playing a role like Serena and the writing is so extraordinary you get to explore all these amazing grey areas of this woman’s psychology.

“I think that’s just so extraordinary and one of my favourite things to do with her is to find and sit in these grey areas of where she exists and walk that fine line.”

In the most recent season of The Handmaid’s Tale viewers have seen a more sensitive and caring side to Serena.

After giving Fred up to the authorities for an exchange deal to see June’s baby Nichole, she had begun considering life outside of Gilead.

This realisation came after the surprising discovery that she was pregnant with Fred baby, and although they were both being held in Canadian custody for their crimes in Gilead, Serena knew that if she was to return her child would belong to the state.

In the jaw-dropping season four finale, fans watched in shock as June and other ex-handmaids beat Fred to death and hung his headless corpse on the very wall where he sent many to die.

Serena was waiting for his Zoom call thinking she had flown to Geneva to get his charges dropped.

With the discovery that her husband is dead perhaps Serena will take a step away from Gilead and live a peaceful life with her baby or will she return to continue the regime in her husband’s memory.

Thankfully for viewers season five was confirmed by Hulu and although showrunners have remained tight-lipped about the plot, fans can expect the upcoming instalment to air in summer 2020.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 is available to stream on Hulu in the USA and airs Sundays on Channel 4 in the UK.

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