Alexis Bledel has shockingly announced her departure from her Emmy-winning role on The Handmaid’s Tale, which has begun filming for its fifth season.
“After much thought, I felt like I had to retire from The Handmaid’s Tale at this point,” said the 40-year-old actress, who has been on the show since its first season.
“I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support,” she told Variety magazine.
Seeing on screen: Alexis Bledel has shockingly announced her departure from The Handmaid’s Tale, the fifth season of which has begun filming
Based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, the show is set in a patriarchal dystopia called Gilead, founded on the former United States.
Women are reduced to a status far below that of men and are deprived of basic rights such as the right to read or use money.
“Servants” are the women forced under veils and subjected to a form of slavery in which they are repeatedly raped in order to father children.
Alexis played Emily Malek, who went by the name Ofglen and was a maid until she fled to Canada and now works for the Mayday Resistance.
End of the Road: “After much thought, I felt like I had to retire from The Handmaid’s Tale at this point,” the 40-year-old actress said in a statement to Variety this week
For her work in the first season, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress and was nominated three more times for the show.
The show has long since overtaken the events of Margaret Atwood’s novel, allowing the writers a degree of freedom to shape the plot around Alexis’ exit.
The show, starring Elisabeth Moss in the lead role of a handmaid named Offred, ran in its first season in 2017 and dropped its fourth season from April to June last year.
One of the show’s stars, Ann Dowd, confirmed to the Independent in January that season five “would start filming in February.”
Side by side: With Elisabeth Moss (left) in the lead role of a maid named Offred, the show ran in its first season in 2017; Elisabeth and Alexis are pictured together in the series
Upon its debut, the show became a major cultural touchstone, particularly among feminists who were angry with Donald Trump.
A number of anti-Trump protesters dressed up as maids because of his visits there not only in the US but also in foreign cities like London and Warsaw.
Pro-choice protesters have donned Handmaid costumes this month after an unprecedented leak revealed Roe v Wade may have been knocked over.
Horror: Based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood, the show is set in a patriarchal dystopia called Gilead, founded on the former United States
Alexis rose to stardom as one of the title characters in Gilmore Girls, a long-running dramedy that ran from 2000 to 2007.
She also embarked on a film career that has spanned such memorable titles as The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants films and Sin City.
Her departure from The Handmaid’s Tale comes over four years after she revealed a third Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants film was leaking.
Who’s Who: Alexis played Emily Malek, who went by the name Ofglen and was a maid until she fled to Canada and now works for the Mayday Resistance
Appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on April 18, she said she and her co-stars “just finished filming a third movie, and I hope it comes together.”
Alexis starred alongside Blake Lively, America Ferreira and Amber Tamblyn in the first film in 2005 and its sequel in 2008.
The films are based on a series of five books by Ann Brashares, and four of the novels were already combined into the first two films.