‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Cast on Pressure to Match Critical Darling’s Success in Season 2 (Video)

“We got lucky in terms of hitting the political zeitgeist,” Joseph Fiennes tells TheWrap of Emmy-winning series

Last Updated: April 24, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen all of Season 1 of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” returns to Hulu Wednesday with a second season that’s going completely off-book.

The Elisabeth Moss-led series — whose first season won more awards than Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) could shake a cow-prodder at — exhausted the source material last year and is about to unleash a new story that goes beyond the pages of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel.

So are the stars feeling the heat when it comes to living up to the hype with this addition to the original tale? Of course, but they also trust showrunner Bruce Miller and their writers.

“I don’t want Margaret to get angry with me, because she’s got a dark imagination!” O-T Fagbenle, who plays June’s (Elisabeth Moss) husband Luke, told TheWrap about making sure the author is pleased with their work. “The main pressure I feel is just to do the scripts justice,” he added.

“I think of course there is great pressure when something works to try and keep it working, but without repeating the formula in a way that might get the audience bored,” Joseph Fiennes, who plays Commander Fred Waterford, said. “Allowing this second season to speak as strongly as it did to people — we got lucky in terms of hitting the political zeitgeist,” he added.

“I think the key there is just to bring your best every day,” said Ann Dowd, who took home an Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy in 2017 for playing Aunt Lydia. “And it takes so many [people] to make this story.”

Alexis Bledel, who grabbed an Outstanding Guest Actress Emmy for her role as Ofglen/Emily, said they are trying “to step up our game for season 2 and hopefully get something even more satisfying.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 2 will be shaped by Offred/June’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. In the sophomore installment, Offred and others will fight against — or succumb to — the dark truth that “Gilead is within you.”

Watch the cast’s interview above and check back at TheWrap Wednesday at 10:10 am PT for an interview with Dowd about the Season 2 premiere.

Season 2 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” will premiere with two new episodes on Wednesday, with subsequent episodes released every Wednesday, on Hulu.