Available on OCS, season 4 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” marks the first steps of Elisabeth Moss as a director. Showrunner Bruce Miller discusses the complicated production and challenges of this new chapter.
June is back. Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale has just started and already looks superior to the previous two. The series keeps its ostentatious style, but the rage and violence reign there are amplified. As her character continues to evolve, Elisabeth Moss goes behind the camera for the first time – she signs episodes 3, 8 and 9 of this new season. Showrunner Bruce Miller answers a few of our questions.
AlloCiné: What was the challenge of this fourth season?
Bruce Miller: As for the protagonists of the series, the hardest part was to continue filming in the midst of the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was complicated to get our actors to come to the Toronto set. After a forced shutdown in March 2020, we managed to resume filming during the fall, despite difficult restrictions, including a 14-day quarantine. Sometimes, due to the short duration of their filming days, we had to rewrite episodes and do without some talent. Decisions that have sometimes been cruel.
Like all other productions, you now have to get used to working with masks …
Yes, we had to deal with an intense filming protocol with masks for everyone and all the time, except during the shoots. Distances between each actor and members of the technical team were mandatory. It was a real headache that also forced us to reduce the number of actors present per scene and the shooting locations. Elisabeth Moss was particularly put to the test since in addition to playing the main role, she also signed the production of three episodes of this season 4.
What is the theme of this new chapter?
We wanted to explore a theme that is familiar to us, that of the expectation and frustration of not seeing things back to normal, back to normal. Isn’t that a bit like what we are all experiencing right now all over the world? I also believe that it is a look at our society after the departure of Donald Trump and the hope that was born after his ousting.
The similarities between Margaret Atwood’s novel and our world today are more and more numerous.
That’s right, more than ever we can only see the appalling parallels between what Atwood wrote in 1985 and what happened in January 2021 on Capitol Hill just before the confirmation of the new President of the United States. This season shows the Chicago Rebellion putting pressure on Gilead’s forces. Everything begins to escape them. I can’t wait to see how we adapt the sequel that Margaret Atwood recently released in Wills. We have signed for a fifth season and it will be even more explosive than the previous ones.
Interview by Emmanuel Itier, in Los Angeles, in March 2021.
Discover the trailer for season 4 of “The Handmaid’s Tale”: