The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale won big at the Golden Globes on Sunday and the Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday, bringing home more trophies to go along with the eight Emmys the cast and show nabbed in September. Understandably, following up such an acclaimed run can feel a bit daunting.
“The biggest barrier of season 2 was season 1,” showrunner Bruce Miller tells EW. “You sort of intimidate yourself. But at a certain point, you can’t spend all your time second-guessing things. Instead, you just have to remember to try and tell a good story.”
Season 1 adapted Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed 1985 novel, ending with Elisabeth Moss’ Offred — whom we now know by her real name, June — pregnant and being taken away in a Gilead-controlled van, heading either to dire punishment for an act of rebellion or to freedom. But season 2 (which will premiere in April on Hulu) will enter uncharted territory, albeit with input from Atwood, who serves as a consulting producer on the series. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season 2 halfway through the first,” Miller says.
The EP is reluctant to give too much away. “I’m not being cagey!” Miller protests. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” But he is willing to reveal that this season will explore the lives of the refugees (like Samira Wiley’s Moira) who’ve been able to escape Gilead as well as those who have been exiled to the Colonies (see photo below), the polluted and contaminated areas of North America.
Miller is particularly excited about an upcoming scene that depicts a handmaid’s funeral in Gilead. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” says Miller, who adds that production benefited from real snow on set in Canada. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”
He feels the same way about working with Moss. “Lizzie is such an incredible partner on this with me. Sometimes while writing the scripts, I just really wanted to surprise her,” he says. “She’s even better in season 2, if you can believe it.” We do.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 will debut on Hulu in April.