Margaret Atwood and Bruce Miller on 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Author Margaret Atwood realizes that Hulu's adaptation of her Dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale has gotten a huge PR boost, thanks to a turn of events that hardly seemed possible when work on the series was underway. Atwood and showrunner Bruce Miller talk about adapting the story for television and the eerie timeliness of the new series.
Margaret Atwood has seen many adaptations of her novel The Handmaid's Tale since the book was first published more than 30 years ago. The most recent one -- a new series on Hulu -- is making a lot of noise, and feels like the most timely adaptation yet. Atwood and showrunner and executive producer Bruce Miller tell us about the moment they realized their series might be more relevant than they initially expected and what they've got in mind for Season Two.
Photo: Behind the scenes with Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale. (George Kraychyk/Hulu)
Netflix adds additional warning cards to its series 13 Reasons Why. The show, set in a high school, has explicit scenes involving sexual assault and suicide. Some parents and schools have expressed concern about the show being marketed to young people.
In the new Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss plays Offred, a woman struggling to survive and stay sane in a future under a totalitarian government where a polluted environment has rendered most women infertile. The few who can get pregnant are enslaved and forced to bear children for the most prominent ruling families.
Offred was not always one of these handmaids -- the series offers flashbacks to a more normal time when she had a husband, a daughter and a career, a time when she was blissfully unaware of what was happening to the government.
Our guests today are Margaret Atwood, prolific Canadian author of short stories, essays, poems, and of course, the novel The Handmaid's Tale, and Bruce Miller, the executive producer and showrunner of the new Hulu series.
As many critics have pointed out, the timing of the series seems eerily prescient -- though production actually wrapped before the 2016 election.
Atwood, now 77, has seen her most famous novel adapted many times over the past 30 years. She talks about some of those adaptations, what's worked and what hasn't, and what she thinks about Hulu's take on the book.
She and Miller tell us how they approached making any plot changes for the new series, when they realized the show might be more relevant than they initially intended, and what they've got in mind for season two.