‘Handmaid’s Tale’ is a dark story but it’s also an uplifting one. The executive producers of Hulu’s new hit show spoke exclusively with HollywoodLife.com about adapting Margaret Atwood’s novel for TV, bringing out a strong message for women, and how it relates to the world today.
The novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, was a heavy story about a horrible world — but it’s not only relevant now — it has been since the book came out in 1985, Bruce Miller, the writer and executive producer of the show told HollywoodLife.com at the show’s premiere at Tribeca Film Festival. “Right now, people are anxious. In a story based on anxiety coming from above, it addresses that fear in people. I hope people will come away appreciating the messy freedom that we have,” he said.
Bruce, as well as executive producer, Warren Littlefield, explained that while the world Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is living in is a dark one — women lose all control over their lives, their bodies and any freedoms at all — they still see her as an inspirational character, especially in today’s world.
“It’s a story about this woman who still finds ways to keep her identity, keep her humanity, and even keep and grow some of her power. That to me is inspiring,” Bruce said. Warren added, “Whatever she endures, ultimately, she never gives up… and she does something. And if she can, then I think we can.”
Author Margaret Atwood actually worked on the show as a consultant, reading all of the scripts and working with the team in the editing room. Naturally, there were some changes since television is so much different than a novel — and she approved each one. “The world Margaret envisioned was all white, and we thought that the Alt Right is no longer all white,” Warren said. “They’re more inclusive in what they believe. It would have been too strange. We could do a show, as Bruce says, about racism, not a racist show. So, we have a whole population, and I think it makes it more haunting and it more closely reflects the world that we’re living in.”
As for those who haven’t read the book, both Warren and Bruce have advice: “Fasten your seatbelt” and “Have a glass of liquor ready.” The first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are available now on Hulu. HollywoodLifers, will you be watching?