As Serena Joy Waterford, Strahovski spent much of the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale in the background. She was a villain viewers didn’t know much about, aside from the facts that she was complicit in the horrible actions perpetrated daily in Gilead and also helped the totalitarian regime take power.
Then, in season two, cracks began to show.
This year, Serena Joy broke the rules. Serena Joy saw a life she could be leading when she went to Canada, a life that was offered back to her. Serena Joy saw flaws in Gilead. And she suffered.
“That was one of the most horrific scenes. That’s one of the scenes I’ve been dying to talk about. It’s hard to be so nonspecific with this show and not spoil anything, but that was definitely one of the horrible scenes that went down where it felt—It just felt really bad on set, doing it,” Strahovski told E! News.
“There’s so much wrong about it. I just felt horrible. It’s sort of like the height of the complicity of Serena and how she will just do whatever it takes for her own selfish purposes. Even though I wasn’t in Joe’s position as the commander…I definitely felt like the rapist as well in that situation…I just kept thinking, ‘Wow, I never in my life thought that I would be in this position in a scene…’ As a woman, you always think, ‘Oh, I might be doing a scene one day where I’m the one getting raped in a scene,'” Strahovski said.
For Serena, that moment was about getting what she so desperately wanted, Strahovski said.
“The type of material that we’re working with is so layered and complex. These characters, just circumstantially they’re so complex as well. It’s amazing to go down these avenues and take a deep dive into the psyche of someone like Serena Joy,” she said. “Especially the fact that she is so evil and trying to find that humanity in her and show that, I love that challenge. It’s fantastic for me.”
Episode 10 ended with a very pregnant Offred stranded at the abandoned mansion after Nick (Max Minghella), her escort to meet her daughter, was discovered and taken away by police forces. Once again, pregnant Offred is missing from the Waterford household.
The Handmaid’s Tale drops new episodes on Wednesdays on Hulu.