The actress opens up about her character's harrowing journey, rebellious joyride
The horrors suffered by Alexis Bledel’s character Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale are not for the faint-hearted. After the government kills Ofglen’s lover and mutilates her genitals because she’s a lesbian (a “gender-traitor” in the show’s parlance), the Commander (Joseph Fiennes) argues in episode 5 that the government “saved” her from the “urges” to do “unnatural things.”
When Offred (Elisabeth Moss) meets Ofglen (now called Ofsteven but really named Emily) again in the open-air market, rebellion still swirls inside of her. In a moment of complete surprise, she sees an open driver’s side door of a fancy government-issued car and she jumps in, not knowing where she will go but, for the moment, just enjoying the ride.
“It’s an impulse, it’s certainly not planned,” Bledel says of her character’s attempt at a breakaway. “She’s standing there, having experienced such a devastating loss. She’s still processing all that’s happened to her even though some time has passed. Then she sees this car door open, and she decides to jump in. She doesn’t know where she’s going or how far she’ll be able to go, but once she realizes the other handmaids are watching—and it’s making a statement to the guards—she decides to keep going as long as she can.”
Bledel tells EW that the show’s creators dubbed the scene “The Joyride” for that brief respite it offers such a tortured soul.
“She a member of Mayday (the resistance arm) and she’s always looking around, trying to find an opportunity for escape or to be able to take action,” she says. “What she does creates an example for the other handmaids. It’s a definite act of rebellion.”
It’s safe to say that things are looking pretty bad for the handmaid after she runs over and kills one of the guards.
“She’s taken away, and you’re left wondering where she has gone,” says Bledel. “You can only assume the worst at this point.”
Bledel doesn’t know what’s next; she’s waiting to find out her character’s fate, a character she says she connected to because of that rebellious spirit. “She appealed to me,” she says. “Someone who is an independent thinker and can break apart from a group is really capable of doing anything.”
Does this mean Ofglen will return for the recently announced second season? Things are looking up.
Says Bledel: “It sounds like I’m supposed to be in season 2, but I don’t know what happens to my character.”
Sometimes a little bit of hope is all we can ask for.
The first five episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale are available to stream on Hulu.