Alexis Bledel exits The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale -- Courtesy of Hulu
The Handmaid's Tale -- Courtesy of Hulu /

In an exclusive interview with Variety, Alexis Bledel has confirmed that she will not be returning for the fifth season of the acclaimed Hulu dystopian drama.

“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ at this time. I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily and to Hulu, MGM, the cast, and crew for their support,” the actress said in her statement.

Perhaps best known for her role as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, Bledel has been a regular on The Handmaid’s Tale since it first aired in 2017. Her character Emily (previously known as Ofglen) was a former handmaiden and is among the show’s many strong resistance leaders who have now escaped to Canada.

The fourth season of the series followed its protagonist and Elisabeth Moss’ character June—in what can only be described as “long-awaited” and “cathartic”—seek revenge against her abusers and strike back, together with other former handmaidens. The show is an adaptation of the famous Margaret Atwood novel of the same name set in Gilead’s fictional totalitarian society, where women are forced to live as concubines.

Since its release, The Handmaid’s Tale has won 15 Primetime Emmys, with Bledel getting nominated four times during her stint on the show. In 2017, she won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for the episode “Late.”

Hulu has yet to announce when the fifth season of The Handmaid’s Tale will air, although Elisabeth Moss did confirm in an interview with Drew Barrymore that they are “halfway through” filming back in May of 2022.

Moss is joined by other show regulars Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Madeline Brewer as Janine, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, O.T. Fagbenle as Luke, Max Minghella as Nick, Samira Wiley as Moira, Bradley Whitford as Commander Lawrence, Amanda Brugel as Rita, and Sam Jaeger as Mark Tuello. They are all currently expected to return for the upcoming season.

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