There is a hell of a lot to unpack on The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu's new series about a dystopian future — a patriarchal, puritanical society — in which women are reduced to breeding stock. The first three episodes of the can't-look-away show premiered Wednesday night (spoilers for those ahead), and everybody's talking about its searing resonance in the Trump era and just how feminist it is. Equally important to those themes is the savvy way the show handles LGBTQ representation. While the two gay protagonists, Moira (Samira Wiley) and Ofglen (Alexis Bledel), are treated horrendously within the world of the show — they're considered an abomination to the female sex — the characters themselves are incredibly rich. And no one plays "the gay best friend," as Wiley makes clear in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
"The show looks at all of the characters as 100 percent multidimensional characters. We don’t have anyone on our show that is the 'gay character,'" Wiley told THR. "Ofglen is so much more than that. Moira is so much more than that." Wiley explained that her character Moira's sexual orientation is just a piece of her identity. "That is just one part about who she is but I don’t think it’s a character trait," she asserted. "It’s just a fact of who she is, just like the fact that she’s Black. And the fact that she’s a woman."
The Orange Is The New Black actress continued, "When I think about Moira and the kind of person she is, her sexual identity is not something that comes up immediately. I think about her being a strong woman, being this badass character that stands up for herself and for all the women who cannot stand up for themselves. She is someone who will survive."
And if you've started watching The Handmaid's Tale, you'll know that the ability to survive is the most important thing in Moira's world.
The first series of The Handmaid's Tale is shown on Channel 4 on Sundays at 9pm.