Alexis Bledel’s Role in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Earns Her First Emmy Award

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When a second season of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” failed to materialize due to poor reviews, Alexis Bledel wasted no time taking on other projects.

The actress quickly moved on to Hulu to take on a new role: That of a handmaiden. Her performance earned the American actress her first Emmy Award nomination and win in the 2017 Creative Arts ceremony as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Alexis Bledel as Emily Malek, embodying strength and resilience in The Handmaid's TaleAlexis Bledel as Emily Malek, embodying strength and resilience in The Handmaid’s Tale (Credit: Hulu)

Alexis played Dr. Emily Malek, Ph.D. / Ofglen / Ofsteven / Ofroy / Ofjoseph, a rebellious handmaid in The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name.

Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne (Offred) and Alexis Bledel as Emily Malek (Ofglen #1) portray the resilience and quiet rebellion of women forced into subservience in the dystopian world of GileadElisabeth Moss as June Osborne (Offred) and Alexis Bledel as Emily Malek (Ofglen #1) portray the resilience and quiet rebellion of women forced into subservience in the dystopian world of Gilead (Credit: Hulu)

Emily Malek’s Journey in Gilead and Beyond

In the dystopian tragedy web television series created by Bruce Miller, she plays a lesbian character who manages to escape Gilead for good at the start of season 3. Now a refugee in Canada, the former university lecturer in cellular biology tries to pick up the pieces of a broken life.

Bledel spoke to E! News about Emily’s new journey. “Yeah, what does she do with it? That’s sort of a huge question for her,” she says.

“It’s not being kind of aggravated or triggered in the same way anymore, but she’s still used to reacting in that way, with anger, so she has to learn to be a gentle person again with herself, with others. And that’s incredibly challenging when you’ve been through what she’s been through.”

Alexis Bledel as Emily, navigating her new life in Canada in The Handmaid's Tale season 3Alexis Bledel as Emily, navigating her new life in Canada in The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 (Credit: Hulu)

Production Halt Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to travel restrictions and family commitments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexis Bledel’s role was reduced in Season 4 of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Her character, Emily, had a limited appearance.

On March 16, 2020, Elisabeth Moss confirmed that The Handmaid’s Tale has shut down production on its fourth season amid fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

“We shut down production of season 4 in order to preserve the health and safety of our cast and crew and join the world in an attempt to flatten the curve,” Moss wrote on Instagram.

“This show is my life and this cast and crew is my family. Nothing is more important than making sure they and everyone around them is safe.”

“We hope to be back in production as soon as it’s safe to do so,” she concluded. “In the meantime stay safe and healthy and take care of yourselves. So much love from our family to yours.”

Bledel left the show after four seasons. Her character’s story concludes with her joining the resistance fighters in the Canadian wilderness.

Alexis Bledel in a crystal-embellished dress at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild AwardsAlexis Bledel in a crystal-embellished dress at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 19, 2020 (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel previously appeared in the acclaimed TV series “Mad Men.” Moss played a central role as Peggy Olson, the ambitious and talented copywriter who rose through the ranks at Sterling Cooper.

In a recurring guest role during the show’s fifth season, Bledel portrayed Beth Dawes, a troubled housewife who briefly captured the attention of philandering ad man Pete Campbell.

Alexis Bledel’s Red Carpet Appearances

Alexis Bledel at the Los Angeles premiere of The Handmaid's TaleAlexis Bledel at the Los Angeles premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 25, 2017, at the ArcLight Dome in Hollywood, California (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

In June 2019, Bledel spoke to Bazaar about Emily’s dangerous escape and “incredibly difficult” reunion with her wife (Clea Duvall).

Emily is sort of fearful. I think this is the first time I experienced her being really fearful. She was scared of physical harm before, and it made her physically defensive, but now she’s fearful on such a personal level that she’s not going to be understood by Sylvia, and that there’s really no way for Sylvia to understand what she’s been through, or to understand some of the choices she made. And she, herself, is reevaluating the choices she made. In this different environment, she has a new perspective that’s still falling into place. And it’s just as hard for Sylvia as it is for Emily on some level to always fight for that connection as they come back together. They both have to want that so much for it to work, because it’s incredibly difficult.

Alexis Bledel in a beaded Cushnie et Ochs dressAlexis Bledel in a beaded Cushnie et Ochs dress (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

Spotlight on Alexis Bledel’s Fashion Choices

Attending the outdoor premiere of her upcoming show, The Handmaid’s Tale, in April 2017, Alexis put a new twist to the classic LBD with a fully-embellished Cushnie et Ochs dress.

Alexis Bledel with a Tiffany blue Lili Radu clutchAlexis Bledel with a Tiffany blue Lili Radu clutch (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

What seemed like a simple halter dress, with intricately hand-beaded details, gave off the impression of a million stars.

Alexis Bledel in Schutz sandalsAlexis Bledel in Schutz sandals (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

The actress added color to her look with her bright orange manicure and pedicure.

Alexis Bledel with an orange pedicure in yellow heelsAlexis Bledel with an orange pedicure in yellow heels (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

Alexis emphasized this detail with a Tiffany blue clutch by Lili Radu and a pair of Schutz “Cadey Lee” sandals in bright yellow.

Alexis Bledel in bright yellow Schutz Cadey Lee sandalsAlexis Bledel in bright yellow Schutz Cadey Lee sandals (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

Alexis talked about her latest role, saying her handmaiden character wasn’t as afraid as she probably should have been.

The actress garnered praise for seamlessly bringing her character to life. Alexis said she kept the Ofglen in mind throughout most of her days on set.

Alexis Bledel in a Cushnie et Ochs dressAlexis Bledel in a Cushnie et Ochs dress (Credit: FayesVision / WENN / Adriana M. Barraza)

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