How was it to juggle duties both in front of and behind the camera while dealing with such dark material?
I worked more on this show than I’ve ever worked on anything. It was a 24-hour job for many, many, many months. I didn’t work on it when I was sleeping, but I woke up thinking about it. So when people say, “Oh my God, it was such dark material — was it a dark thing to film?” I say, “No, because you don’t have time for that.”
Four out of the five directors on “The Handmaid’s Tale” were women. How important was a female director to setting the tone?
It was not only important for setting the tone of the show, but we all believe that it is incredibly important to hire women behind the camera. There’s a huge imbalance that needs to be corrected, and we’ve got to put our money where our mouth is and set that example as producers. If we don’t do it, who will?
You received pushback for stating at the Tribeca Film Festival in April that “The Handmaid’s Tale” was not a feminist story but rather a human story.
That was my mistake in the sense that I should have been much clearer. What I should have said is that it is not only a feminist story but it is also a human story. Obviously it is first and foremost a feminist story. I play a woman who has had her child and her family taken away from her, and all of her rights as a woman stripped and who is essentially a prisoner. But I was trying to say that it was also a human story in the sense that there are other groups — other races, colors and creeds — who are punished and maligned and are not given the right to be heard as well.
The handmaid’s uniform — crimson robes and white bonnets —…