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Season five of The Handmaid’s Tale will proceed without one of its key players.
Alexis Bledel announced Friday that she’s departing the Hulu series after four seasons. Bledel won an Emmy in 2017 and earned three more nominations for playing Emily, a former handmaid turned resistance fighter.
“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale at this time,” Bledel said in a statement. “I am forever grateful to [showrunner] Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support.”
Season four of The Handmaid’s Tale found Emily helping resettle the children airlifted from Gilead to Canada in a move orchestrated by June (Elisabeth Moss), then working with June and other former handmaids to exact vengeance on Gilead leader Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes).
Bledel (Gilmore Girls, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) won a guest-acting Emmy for the role following the show’s first season, then earned a supporting actress nomination in 2018 for season two. She returned to guest-star status while recurring on seasons three and four of the series, earning Emmy nods both times.
Season five of The Handmaid’s Tale, from MGM Television, is in production and expected to premiere later this year. The series will add Christine Ko to its cast as a leader in the resistance movement.
Variety first reported Bledel’s departure.
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