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7 things you should know about The Handmaid’s Tale lead actress Elisabeth Moss

First 3 episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 have dropped on Showmax, with 7 other episodes set to drop weekly, express from the US.

The dystopian drama is based on the celebrated 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, which won the first-ever Arthur C. Clarke Award.

The much-celebrated novel has sold over eight million copies and become one of the bestsellers when the TV adaptation debuted in 2017.

The riveting series has bagged 75 awards to date, including 12 Emmys and Golden Globes for Best Drama Series, and Best Actress for its star, Elisabeth Moss.

The latest installment of the series is a “transcendent cultural phenomenon” but did not drift away from the past three seasons.

The fourth season however has something remarkably amazing that is coming out, there are rare and precious rays of hope.

Here are 7 things you likely did not know about lead actress Elisabeth Moss that will surely make you love her even more.

#1: She’s the "Queen of Peak TV"

After debuting in the Sandra Bullock mini-series Lucky Chances at age eight, Moss came to fame as first daughter Zoey Bartlet in The West Wing, opposite Martin Sheen.

By the time she took on her iconic roles as Peggy Olson in Mad Men and Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake, her television CV was so extensive that Vulture dubbed her the "Queen of Peak TV”.

She’s now won 33 awards, including two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Moss also stars in three excellent movies you can catch on Showmax now: psychological thriller The Invisible Man, for which she won a Critics Choice Super award earlier this year; the post-apocalyptic drama Light of My Life, with Casey Affleck and Anna Pniowsky; and Jordan Peele’s award-winning horror, Us, alongside Lupita Nyong'o.

#2. Her character in The Handmaid’s Tale is on the run this season

June is on the run this season. Staying in Gilead has always been about rescuing her daughter, Hannah. But this is bigger. This is about all the daughters of Gilead. And now, it’s war.

“Everything June’s been told was impossible is still very possible, and she’s just proven that again by doing this thing that is hitting Gilead exactly where they hurt,” series creator Bruce Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t think she has much hope that she's going to get out alive. I think she's more there to f*ck up Gilead.”

#3. She’s been a producer on The Handmaid’s Tale since Season 1

The role of June in The Handmaid’s Tale marked the first time Moss had been directly offered a part (she’s auditioned for every role she’d done up to that point), and she was thrilled at the prospect.

Even so, she had a condition: she’d only sign a standard five-to-seven-year series contract if she could also be a hands-on producer.

“I couldn’t sign on to something that was such a time commitment and not have a creative say in it, at this point in my career,” she told Vulture.

“I’ve been doing this for 28 years. I don’t know everything, but I kind of know something about how to do this.”

She’s been directly involved in everything from the tone of the show and cinematographic choices to casting, and even “the exact shade of red to make the handmaids’ uniform.”

When Vulture asked Fiennes what Moss was like to hang out with offset, he laughed, “Do you know what her timetable is like? She’s in every scene, probably up at four in the morning.

She’s first in, last out, learning scripts over the weekend and probably doing huge amounts of voice-over in a studio when all of us are having our Sundays off, and then putting on her producer hat and spending her lunch break in meetings and watching dailies.

“I feel shattered and ashamed thinking about her extraordinary work ethic.”

#4. She directs three episodes this season

Moss makes her directorial debut with episodes 3, 8, and 9 of The Handmaid’s Tale S4.

“Elisabeth Moss, if she wants, will become one of the great directors,” Fiennes believes. “Her ability to direct The Handmaid’s Tale is extraordinary, because she is an extraordinary actress and her depth and knowledge of the story is unparalleled.

Elisabeth’s acute awareness, her instincts as an actor, her ability to communicate, her sense of truth, her love of actors, and her brilliant cinematic eye make her a dynamic, powerful, and exciting voice as a director.

I have had several filming days with Elisabeth, and she is absolute gold to be directed by. I have genuinely loved it. You feel like you are in safe hands because she knows everything inside and out, which elevates our game. We are very lucky.”

#5. Like June, she wants to change society for the better

Moss is a vocal supporter of planned parenthood and an advocate for equal pay. When Vulture asked her when she felt she’d become a feminist, she said, “I was born. I was born, and then I was a feminist.”

“There’s this whole feeling that women should be small and quiet and polite, and I don’t think that’s really gotten us anywhere,” she says.

She believes feminism means accepting every woman’s “right to live the life she wants to live.”

Along with Moss, the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale was outspoken in advocating for reproductive rights during the Trump presidency, and even jointly filmed a PSA for Planned Parenthood. Across the world, many protest groups have also adopted the handmaids’ uniform in their campaigns.

#6. She’s related to Björn from ABBA

Moss is a second cousin, once removed, of Swedish musician Björn Ulvaeus, of ABBA.

That’s not her only musical link either: her mother, Linda, is a professional jazz and blues harmonica player. Moss brought her mom to the Emmys in 2017, when she won her first Emmy for The Handmaid’s Tale.

In her speech, she thanked her mom, saying, “You are brave and strong and smart and you have taught me that you can be kind and a f*cking badass,” which of course got bleeped.

#7 Next up: The Shining Girls, based on the thriller by South African author Lauren Beukes

Reel Chicago reported last month that filming is about to commence on Apple TV+’s metaphysical thriller series The Shining Girls, based on the best-selling novel by South African Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Lauren Beukes.

Moss will star (and executive produce via her production company, Love & Squalor Pictures) opposite Golden Globe-nominated Narcos star Wagner Moura.

The series is being produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s company Appian Way, with Beukes among the exec producers.

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