Yvonne Strahovski is a 38-year-old actress from Australia. She has 899 thousand followers on Instagram and has become a household name for her role as Serena Joy in the popular Hulu drama, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
With only two episodes left in the season, Yvonne spoke about the fanatical support her character received from Gilead supporters in Canada, and how it relates to real-world events.
In the last episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” June (Elisabeth Moss) recounted the crimes that Serena and her husband, Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), committed against her, including forced rape and physical assault.
In a dramatic statement, Waterford insisted that the forced rapes were necessary for improving the birth rate and pointed to his own wife’s recent pregnancy as proof that they were doing God’s will.
As they were leaving the courthouse, the Waterfords expected to be met by a crowd of protesters, but were instead surprised by supporters who agreed with Gilead’s fanatical approach.
Parallels To Real Life
In a recent interview, the “Chuck” actress admits that she was shocked by that scene when she first read it in the script.
She explained, “I remember reading it and thinking, ‘Oh, my God — why is there a fan club?’ And then catching myself, thinking, ‘Oh, of course.’ I mean, this is totally what is happening in real life.”
“There are fan clubs for all kinds of things and all the things we’ve seen, all the kind of extremist behavior out there, there’s a fan club for it. And it’s confronting, honestly.”
Considering her character’s involvement in several sexual assaults, the “Dexter” star confessed that it can be difficult to play such a controversial character.
“Those are the parts of playing the role that have always been a little bit confronting,” she continued. “And find yourself kind of the face of both of both the make-believe version and the face of the real lives… There’s the real-life stuff that’s going on and then people make parallels to the character of Serena or the character of Fred. So it is confronting playing as the actor, playing that role, being the face of it.”
The Gilead Mindset
As Moss explained in a previous interview, Gilead isn’t necessarily a place, but a mindset.
“We say it quite often: Gilead is within you,” she explained. “Gilead isn’t just a place; it’s an idea. And that’s why it’s so universal to the audience. It’s not just something that could happen in America, it’s something that has happened all over the world that currently exists. So, that’s not something you can just get away from because you moved cities.”
Keep scrolling to see the challenges Moss teased were in store for June in the final episodes of season 4.