The Handmaid's Tale on OCS: why Elisabeth Moss wanted to direct key episodes of season 4

The Handmaid’s Tale on OCS: why Elisabeth Moss wanted to direct key episodes of season 4

Heroine of the series The Handmaid’s Tale, Elisabeth Moss went behind the camera for season 4. The actress explains why she chose to make decisive episodes of this new season, broadcast on OCS in France.

Elisabeth Moss made her directorial debut by stepping behind the camera to direct the third episode of Season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, titled “The Passage”. An opportunity offered by showrunner Bruce Miller which allowed the actress to take up a challenge that was close to her heart.

But June’s interpreter didn’t stop there. In parallel with the rebellion of her character and her seizure of power against Gilead, Elisabeth Moss also took matters in hand in the production of the series by directing other episodes of season 4. The actress also put in stage the eighth episode, the latest to be broadcast on Hulu in the United States and on OCS in France.

This eighth episode, titled “Testimony”, was a powerful chapter in this new season as June testified to the abuse committed by the Waterford couple and the physical and psychological assaults she suffered in Gilead. Now safe in Canada, June has found former maids rescued from Gileadest.

The work that remains to be done against Gilead and the pregnancy of Serena Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) push June up a notch in her quest for revenge and her desire to make her voice heard. She therefore agreed to testify before the Court of Canada.

Directing important episodes for June

In the Variety podcast, Elisabeth Moss explains that she chose to deliver this testimony in a calm manner: “June is not an actress who delivers a rabid speech. She wrote this speech… she practically memorized it, she knows she has to say it in a calm manner for her speech to be heard.”.


The scene in question is a long shot centered on June, which approaches her face as it is read. Elisabeth Moss explained to Variety that she had shot several shots with the other actors around her to give herself more choices in the editing and to have a way out if her first shot didn’t work. She ultimately didn’t use any of the other plans:

“I didn’t want the audience to have a chance to look away, like June who remains focused in front of the Court. I wanted you to look at her from the judges’ point of view and your breath taking and especially not the slightest bit. want to leave or look elsewhere in the face of the story June has to tell “.

By going behind the camera, Elisabeth Moss wanted to achieve significant episodes in the rebellion and the reconstruction of June. The actress considers episode 3, for which she worked with cinematographer Stuart Biddlecombe, to be “The Handmaid’s Tale but under speed”, with an accelerated horror that will paradoxically give June more strength to get by.


While the eighth episode is “a kind of experiment by bringing back a piece of Gilead shown for years with June in Canada” according to Elisabeth Moss. The actress has accompanied her character in her reconstruction process with her family by going behind the camera and promises that June will open up more in the ninth episode, which she also realizes, since she announces to Luke that she owes him talk about something important about their daughter Hannah.

After a first successful experience with the production of the third episode, Elisabeth Moss therefore wanted to launch a new challenge by staging another key episode of season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, as she told Variety: “I felt that I had barely had time to fulfill myself as a director when the experience was already over. I wanted to have the opportunity to do more.”

The actress was therefore able to produce the eighth episode, very intense, of the fourth season of the series but also the ninth episode, entitled “Progress”, which will be broadcast on June 9 on Hulu in the United States and the following day in US + 24 on OCS in France.

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