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Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale premiered on Hulu on Sept. 14. A great deal of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale focuses on the complicated relationship between June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) and Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski). In a recent interview with Metacritic, Moss revealed that she and Strahovski call June and Serena Joy “Juliet and Juliet.”

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale.]

Yvonne Strahovski on the set of 'The Handmaid's Tale' with Elisabeth Moss
(L-R) Yvonne Strahovski and Elisabeth Moss | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ actors think June and Serena Joy are like ‘Juliet and Juliet’

Throughout The Handmaid’s Tale, June and Serena Joy have had a complicated relationship. In Margaret Atwood’s original novel of the same name, Serena Joy was much older than June. However, Strahovski’s character in the show is closer in age to June in order to add another layer to their dynamic.

This change, along with June and Serena’s strong personalities, hints that the two would have been friends in a different life. The first few seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale showed Serena Joy being June’s captor in Gilead, creating a traumatic and unequal power dynamic.

Still, the relationship is portrayed as nuanced, and the two developed a toxic intimacy and understanding of one another.

“Their whole relationship has been a trauma bond,” showrunner Bruce Miller told Metacritic.

Moss also revealed that she and Straohvski compare June and Serena to Romeo and Juliet from the famous Shakespearean play, saying, “Yvonne and I call them Juliet and Juliet.”

Elisabeth Moss thinks June and Serena have ‘a bond’ in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Speaking with Metacritic, Moss expanded on why June and Serena have a unique connection on the show.

“There’s only one other person who knows what June experienced in Gilead. They have a bond that June doesn’t have with anyone else and that Serena does not have with anyone else,” Moss shared. “They are the heroine and villain of the show. They’re the most complicated relationship of the show.”

She continued, “I think Season 5 brings us to a really, really cool, interesting place because, for me, we are saying to the audience, ‘Oh it’s been them all along.'”


‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Margaret Atwood Wants June to Go Underground in Season 5

What happens at the start of season 5 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

So far, the first two episodes of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale are available to watch on Hulu. In the first episode, Serena Joy learns that June murdered her husband Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).

“I think she’s just absolutely terrified once she finds out that June was the one [who killed her husband],” Strahovski told Metacritic. “I think anything is possible at that point, and given that Serena finally has the one thing she’s wanted this entire time, which is a baby of her own growing inside of her, the fact that June could kill Fred means that she could kill the baby and Serena.”

The actor added, “So, the stakes are just so incredibly high, and she just has so much to lose.”

New episodes of season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale premiere each Wednesday on Hulu at midnight ET.