'Too close of a reflection:' Handmaid's Tale season 2 embodies #MeToo
Cast members Yvonne Strahovski, Amanda Brugel, Madeline Brewer speak out at PaleyFest
Season two will once again hold a mirror up to today's society; this time by portraying both the support of and eventual reproach against women using their voices.
"I think it's unfortunately too close of a reflection of what's going on in real life," actor Amanda Brugel, who plays Rita, told CBC News at the PaleyFest television festival in Los Angeles Sunday.
"This season, we really see women speaking their minds for the first time — they haven't been allowed. Then we see the repercussions of that, not unlike what we've seen in the #MeToo movement."
Brugel, who is Canadian, said season two follows a similar arc to how #MeToo has evolved: people start out accepting, but that doesn't last.
"You really see what women can do when they come together, but also how they can be punished for coming together and how much society wants to keep us apart, from using our voices as a collective."
The Handmaid's Tale — starring Elisabeth Moss and originally based on Margaret Atwood's novel — depicts a bleak future in which women's rights have been stripped from them. Those who are fertile are forced to bear children for powerful men and their wives, one of whom is played by actor Yvonne Strahovski.
"With the Time's Up movement, it very much feels like a sisterhood has been formed," said Strahovski.
"It's definitely incredible to be part of something where art is imitating life so powerfully and with such meaning."
Resistance — harshly punished by those in power — is also a consistent thread throughout the series. Though Atwood remains a consultant for the show, the second season goes beyond the events of her dystopian novel.
"Margaret sees everything and she actively consults," said executive producer Warren Littlefield, adding that show creator Bruce Miller "bows to Margaret a lot, because who wouldn't?"
The second season of The Handmaid's Tale premieres Apr. 25.