Following her welcome return as Rory Gilmore on Netflix’s limited continuation of Gilmore Girls, Alexis Bledel has been cast on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
The adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel about a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the U.S. government and treats women as property of the state will see the actress playing Ofglen, a friendly handmaid who initially appears as a shopping partner of Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss), when the show premieres on Wednesday, April 26.
Bledel joins an ensemble cast -- Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story: Asylum), Yvonne Strahovski (24: Live Another Day), Max Minghella (The Social Network), Samira Wiley (Orange Is the New Black), Ann Dowd (The Leftovers), Madeline Brewer (Orange Is the New Black), and O-T Fagbenle (Looking) -- led by Moss in her first U.S. series since Mad Men. Moss also stars on the BBC Two crime thriller Top of the Lake, which airs in the U.S. on Sundance Channel and will return with season two in 2017.
Aside from Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Bledel has most recently appeared opposite Katherine Heigl in the 2015 independent film Jenny’s Wedding, while this is Wiley’s first major series following Orange Is the New Black.
At the end of OITNB season four, Poussey Washington (Wiley) was killed off, making her the series’ first major death. Excited to be “able to jump into all these different genres and different characters,” Wiley has since appeared in a recurring role on FXX’s You’re the Worst and in the films Nerve and 37.
When it comes to The Handmaid’s Tale, Wiley, who plays Offred’s friend Moira, knows the book has a lot of fans eager to see this new adaptation. “I feel like those are big shoes to fill,” she tells ET, adding that the script written by creator Bruce Miller is “just amazing.”
“I’m excited to get in there and create something completely different,” Wiley says.