‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4′: Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes Reveal Dramatic Changes in New Season

The Handmaid’s Tale is officially back. After almost two years of waiting, the powers that be gifted fans with The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 a little bit early. The show was set to be released today but actually premiered yesterday on Hulu. According to stars Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne) and Joseph Fiennes (Commander Fred Waterford), things this season are going to heat up very quickly.

Elisabeth Moss in new season 4 episode 3 of 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Elisabeth Moss as June in season 4 of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ | Sophie Giraud/Hulu

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 4 cast

The story of The Handmaid’s Tale is enthralling on its own, but it’s really the characters and their story arcs that keep fans coming back for more. Of course, Moss and Fiennes are back in their roles this season. Joining them will be Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Amanda Brugel, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Minghella, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, Bradley Whitford, and Sam Jaeger.

Due to his increasing role in the show, Fiennes has also been moved from the Supporting Actor to the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama category for awards consideration this year, according to Deadline.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ new season will be about the characters

Though previous seasons of the show have largely focused on June’s character and her story arc, season 4 will give the other characters a chance to shine.

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“I think for many of the characters, not just June, we finally let these characters run, and they all have these incredible arcs this season,” Moss told the outlet. “We have the opportunity to see, I think, a lot more of the characters, which is something that was conscious. It’s this fantastic thing that over the years, all of these characters, not just June, have become so interesting, and so interesting to watch, and the audience loves them, and so we really focused a lot on trying to make sure that we really were diving into all of their stories and giving everybody their time with their arc, and you can see that in the season.

I feel like so many of the characters—Fred, and Serena, and Moira, and Luke—they all kind of get to really have their story told. Then, of course, there’s June, who is also finally getting to do some of the things that we’ve been wanting to see her do for the past three seasons. Now, does it all turn out the way that we thought it would? Is it the way…is it as bright and sunny as we thought it might be? Maybe not, but freedom is a very complicated thing.

Elisabeth Moss

How does season 4 pick up?

At the end of The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3, Fred and his wife, Serena Joy, were being detained in Canada. Many fans wondered what this meant for Fred in season 4.

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“Like Lizzie said, freedom is a paradoxical thing. What’s wonderful about the season is we get out of Gilead, but Gilead never gets out of our protagonists, and I love the psychological warfare with that in mind,” Fiennes said.

“How free can one be with your choices after you’ve been indoctrinated in such a way?” he continued. “The regime has stopped for Fred. He’s been a predator, the regime has allowed him to get away with things, as it is for all people in power, these sort of positions of power, and now it’s gone and he’s staring at the four walls. The protection is gone, and so the walls are closing in, the oxygen’s running out, and it’s delicious to play that. Palpably, I feel that he’s come back to a part of himself.

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