“The Handmaid’s Tale” executive producer Bruce Miller hadn’t yet spoken to star Elisabeth Moss when called by CNN in the hours after the show scored an impressive 13 Emmy nominations.
But, he admitted, they had traded texts – “that were mostly a lot of emojis.”
The exciting news came on a day that highlighted television’s influx of fully formed female characters – from “Feud: Bette and Joan” to “Big Little Lies” to “The Crown.”
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Miller. “It just takes a while for these shows to go through the pipeline and come out the other end.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale’s” Emmy nominations included individual honors for Moss, Ann Dowd (“Aunt Lydia”), Samira Wiley (“Moira”), and Alexis Bledel (“Ofglen”), and a nod for outstanding drama, in addition to several technical categories.
Miller said it’s “spectacularly rewarding” that Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on the book by Margaret Atwood, is part of what he anticipates being a wave of more shows that represent female voices from all walks of life.
“I know we have a long way to go in a lot of ways in terms of what kind of stories we’re telling on TV, but I’m happy to be part of this initial strike,” he said.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” debuted back in April and quickly struck a chord as something of a eerie cautionary tale about abuse of power, women’s rights and the unsettlingly slow progression of oppression – nevermind it was based on a 32-year-old book. So much so, political activists started to use red cloaks and white bonnets worn by women on the show during protests
“We were surprised and kind of reeling a bit from how much it’s been resonating,” Miller said. “I can’t imagine it would have gotten as much attention without the rough and confusing times we’re living in.”
Miller is hard at work on the second season of the drama, which goes into production in September.
The Season 2 will mark Moss’s first time taking on the role of executive producer (she was previously billed as a producer). Miller called it a “natural evolution.”
“She’s a tough, smart, stubborn, [and] she has so much experience for her age,” he said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without her.”
Details regarding the second season are slim, but Miller said they’re flush with material.
“We have so many ideas and things we want to do, we can’t possibly fit them into Season 2,” he said. “It’s such a fascinating world that [Atwood] has created and such a rich world, that you can go in almost any direction and find something you could make a whole series about, much less an episode.”
But the big question: Do any of the possible roads lead to Atwood’s dream guest star Drake?
“We have not made that decision yet but wow,” Miller said laughing. “Talk about how cool would that be. I’d be on set that day; wouldn’t you?”