An important character will be missing from The Handmaid’s Tale season 5 which premieres Sept. 14 on Hulu. Emmy Award winner Alexis Bledel, 40, exited the series earlier this year, though the new season will address what happens to her character Emily, a former Handmaid who escaped Gilead and made it to Canada. Creator Bruce Miller spoke to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY and revealed how Alexis’s absence affected the overall storyline in the fifth and penultimate season.
“Alexis is a pro and talked to her people and let us know as early as she could. There wasn’t a ton that we had to shift. But honestly I think it gave some character short trip,” Bruce told us. “Because the stories for Rita and Moira were really revolving around the story for Alexis. That was hard because we lost a lot of puzzle pieces at one time.”
Emily’s whereabouts are revealed to June (Elisabeth Moss) and the viewers in the first episode of season 5. It turns out that she left Toronto and returned to Gilead hell-bent on revenge against anyone that harmed her including Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd).
In our EXCLUSIVE interview, Bruce told us that Emily’s decision has an impact on June and her future. June arrived in Canada in season 4, and reunited with her husband Luke (O-T Fagbenle) and her daughter Nichole. But June is considering returning to Gilead to finally rescue her other daughter Hannah.
“Emily as a possible life example for June, like if you let your guard down you’re going to run back to Gilead, that’s where there’s magnetism there,” Bruce explained. “I think it’s such a good object lesson. It really has been the lesson that that character has been playing on the show, she just plays it now in absentia.”
Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale will pick up after June brutally murdered Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). Serena Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) is pregnant and wants revenge after her husband’s death. Hulu has announced that the hit dystopian series, which is based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling novel, will end after season 6.