(Major spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen the Season 2 premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” began its sophomore season on Hulu Wednesday with a frightening execution fakeout at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Or what was once Fenway Park, but in dystopian Gilead is home to gallows where a pregnant Offred/June (Elisabeth Moss) and her fellow disobedient handmaids are brought to be hung to death by Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) within the first few minutes of the premiere.
Luckily, it turned out the whole thing was an elaborate ruse meant to scare them straight. And Dowd told TheWrap in a recent interview she thought the horrifying opener for “June” — Season 2’s first episode — was “perfect.”
“That’s the way to get the job done, scare them almost to death,” Dowd said of how creator and showrunner Bruce Miller decided to pick back up with his adaptation of author Margaret Atwood’s novel, now that the book’s original plot has played out.
“The number of times I read the scripts, then put them down — and I had to write Bruce Miller, ‘Are you kidding me? Wow, there should be an award for extraordinary imagination and — I don’t even know,'” she added. “So I just sat there with my mouth open and thought, ‘Yup, that’ll work.'”
The Emmy winner said the gravity of the scene was highlighted by the fact it was filmed in the middle of the night, though not at the actual Boston baseball landmark.
“If people only knew [laughs],” Dowd said. “It’s 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., I’m walking across that baseball field and it just brought such… You know, when you surrender to the fact that it’s freezing, you should have been in bed hours ago and you surrender to that, it brings such power to it. Because the atmosphere, the location, was all extraordinary.”
Watch Dowd’s entire interview above and check back at TheWrap Thursday at 10:10 a.m. PT for another “The Handmaid’s Tale” interview with star Alexis Bledel about Season 2’s second episode.
New episodes of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale” drop Wednesdays on Hulu.