In the shocking first season of The Handmaid's Tale, Alexis Bledel's Ofglen introduces Offred (Elisabeth Moss) to the resistance movement known as May Day, and is surgically mutilated as punishment for her affair with another woman. When the show returns to Hulu with back-to-back episodes April 25, we'll not only learn of her fate after she was apprehended for running over a soldier with a stolen car, but also get a glimpse of her life pre-Gilead.
"It was really helpful to know who she was then, because it really informed her worldview," Bledel says of her character, who was a professor of cellular biology and raising a child with her wife before the oppressive regime took control of America. "I play her as somebody who's intelligent and very motivated by what she believes in. That includes having a happy, healthy family life and getting the basic respect everyone deserves."
Season two takes the story beyond the confines of Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel. Ofglen has been sentenced to hard labor in "the colonies," severely polluted areas of the U.S. that serve as prison camps. But series creator Bruce Miller has teased that it might not be the end of the line for Bledel, who won an Emmy for her performance and was promoted to a series regular. "I knew it was an incredible challenge," the actress says of taking on the role, "but I didn't know people would respond the way they have."