Alexis Bledel on Shooting that Incredibly Painful ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Scene

alexis bledel
source: Hulu

Rory Gilmore is officially no more. Instead, Alexis Bledel as transformed into Ofglen in Handmaid’s Tale, a very, very different role for her.

First a warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.

Ok, we’re back.

Bledel recently chatted with Vulture about that incredibly painful scene in which she watches her lover Martha meet her death. She recalled,

“We were driving in the van to the location, so we were able to go through the scene a couple of times, me and the actress who plays the Martha, with our director. Reed was in the van with Colin, our cinematographer, and the camera was in the van with us. There was certainly an eerie feel to that day. The fact that it’s all in one shot, and you watch it in real time unfolding, makes it seem more real. You’re experiencing it as Ofglen experiences it. It also makes it seem more unreal — “is this really happening?” — which I think is going through her mind as she’s ripped away from her lover and watches her die, all within less than a minute.”

Of course, Handmaid’s Tale is full of difficult scenes to film, and the election only made it that much worse.

After the election in November, Bledel still had one more scene to film for the first seasons and she remembers,

“I certainly felt a great heaviness coming back to finish out my scenes.”

And with the unbelievable relevance the show has to the current political climate, Alexis says she thinks there are plenty of good lessons to come out of the series.

“I think that the show really depicts women as very strong, capable, and inventive, and there are a lot of really positive things that people can take away from it and hopefully find strength in the story. I certainly did, and Lizzie and I did talk about the strength of the characters — that reserve that they have. There’s so much fortitude underneath all of their vulnerability. They’re very careful, and not bold. They can’t be bold in Gilead. But within, they’re incredibly dynamic and incredibly strong.”

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.