Alexis Bledel's role as Ofglen in The Handmaid's Tale couldn't be more different than the fast-talking, coffee-chugging character that made her famous. Bledel says that, by nature, she's actually on the quieter side — so that aspect of playing Ofglen wasn't hard. But it was mentally exhausting to work with such dark material and Bledel says one scene in particular was incredibly tough to film.
In an interview with Vulture, Bledel talked about the scene where Ofglen was in a van, the doors opened, and they hung the Martha that her character was involved with. She says they went through the scene several times before filming and "there was certainly an eerie feel to that day." The fact that it was a single take made it even more intense.
"The fact that it’s all in one shot, and you watch it in real time unfolding, makes it seem more real," Bledel said. "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."
Single takes are notoriously difficult and this particular one took two tries — she says there were a few false starts because the van doors wouldn't stay open.
Bledel also shared the tactics she used to get into Ofglen's headspace.
"I tried to maintain my focus on Ofglen’s experience the whole time I was on set. It’s not like mentally I didn’t stay in character at all, outwardly, but I just kept her in my mind and my thoughts throughout the day," she explained. "I used music in between takes."
Bledel won't say what music she listened to — only that she changed it up a bit each day.
"I have to keep it to myself because that process was so personal and intricate for me that to talk about it outwardly just maybe feels like not the right thing for me," she said.