The Handmaid’s Tale became one of the most talked-about shows from the moment it first aired on Hulu in 2017. This show, based on the book of the same name by author Margaret Atwood, describes a bleak reality where women are enslaved and forced to serve as Handmaids and give birth to babies they would have to give away.
The women of this show have all kinds of roles – Handmaids, wives, Marthas, and Aunts. But what’s in common to all of them is they mostly appear in uniform that hide their very femininity. This is pretty understandable, since there’s no place for glitz and glamour in the reality of the show. The theocratic regime doesn’t allow for women to express themselves, and so they’re left mere shadows of themselves, some of them even stripped of their own names.
Thankfully, in real life, women are becoming more and more empowered. The ladies who portray these characters so brilliantly, are strong and talented women in their real lives, and there’s nothing holding them back. If you take one look at their Instagram pages you will realize just how magnificent they are, and we don’t just mean their stunning looks.
These women are fierce and not afraid to show it, as they take the world by storm. We admire them for what they do, and how fabulous they manage to look while doing it. Here’s a look at the female cast of the show, in their real lives.
Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne)
The protagonist of the show, June Osborne, is played by the lovely and talented Elisabeth Moss. June is the Handmaid of Fred and Serena Waterford, who is forced to conceive a child with Fred to give to the Waterfords. June is usually found wearing the Handmaids’ red robes, but in this picture Elisabeth is all dolled up and ready to hit an award ceremony. The actress won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as June, and was also made executive producer on the second season of the show. Elisabeth, who looks radiant in this picture, definitely proves that women can achieve incredible accomplishments and look great doing it.
Samira Wiley (Moira)
Samira Wiley plays June’s friend, Moira, on the show. Moira is a fierce woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. After managing to escape the cruel regime of Gilead, she joins the fight against it in Canada. Samira also plays Poussey Washington in the Netflix prison drama Orange is the New Black, and both of these characters are usually not so glamorous. Moira is mostly seen in flashbacks or in Canada, and is usually wearing hoodies. Samira, however, can be full of glam in her real life, and has a much better sense of style, too. In the picture below, she’s rocking a sweater dress and even showing off some legs.
Alexis Bledel (Emily)
Alexis Bledel plays Emily (the first Ofglen) on the show, the former professor who became a Handmaid when the takeover began. Emily has a lot of fight in her, and has proved to have guts to take action quite a few times. While on the show she’s usually wearing that red cape, she isn’t lacking in glamour in this picture, and has certainly grown up since her days as Rory Gilmore on the dramedy Gilmore Girls.
Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy Waterford)
On the show she plays Serena Joy, Commander Waterford’s wife and one of the most complicated characters. While she has a compassionate side, she rarely shows it. She mostly walks around with a stern look on her face and does quite a few cruel things. But in real life, Yvonne Strahovski couldn’t be more different than her on-screen character. The actress is rarely seen without a big smile on her face, or goofing around like in the picture below.
Nina Kiri (Alma)
Alma, played by Nina Kiri, is another one of the Handmaids. She’s definitely not keeping her head down, as she’s involved in the resistance movement called Mayday, which is meant to help the Handmaids of Gilead. Nina began her career not long ago, in 2011, and has mainly done horror thriller movies before landing her role as Alma on The Handmaid’s Tale. As opposed to her character on the show, Nina is a real free spirit – who also loves traveling, according to her Instagram account.
Bahia Watson (Brianna)
Bahia Watson plays Brianna on the show, one of the Handmaid’s and June’s friend. While Bahia is another actress who only recently started out, she does many other things. Not only is she a playwright, but she also writes poetry and short stories. This multi-talented girl is looking particularly vivacious in this picture, sporting a crop top and big retro glasses. This woman certainly has some serious style, in addition to her many other skills.
Jenessa Grant (Dolores)
Dolores is another Handmaid, one who arrived with June and Moira to the Red Center (where Handmaids are trained) and receives a severe punishment. She’s played by the lovely Jenessa Grant, who you may know from shows like the fantasy drama Reign, or the sci-fi action series Orphan Black. The Canadian actress is 29 years old (can you believe?), and her Instagram page lets us know she loves taking pictures. In this picture, we can really appreciate her natural beauty, which is hidden by the red cape on the show.
Marisa Tomei (Mrs. O’Conner)
Marisa Tomei’s guest appearance made waves when the episode first aired. She plays former wife Mrs. O’Conner, who was punished and sent to the colonies for having an affair. Of course, she’s treated terribly by the Handmaids, as retribution for the role she plays in the reality of Gilead. On the show Marisa is barely recognizable, because as we all know, she’s used to turning heads wherever she goes. As one of the most sought out and beloved actresses out there, no doubt she’s much different from her character.
Ever Carradine (Naomi Putnam)
Ever Carradine plays the character of Naomi Putnam, one of the wives on the show and Serena’s close friend. She’s also a very solemn and serious woman, and she can be very fierce when defending herself or baby Angela. In reality, Ever is far less serious, as you can see in this lovely picture. She comes from a line of famous actors, so when she got the acting bug herself, there was nothing left but to get out there and conquer the acting world.
Tattiawna Jones (Lillie)
Lillie is perhaps one of the most fierce and daring Handmaids on the show. At first, she’s not very resistant to the situation in Gilead, since she used to battle with substance abuse and now has a safe home where she can stay clean. However, she’s the first one to refuse to stone Janine – another Handmaid – as punishment, and later on causes an explosion that takes many Commanders’ lives. We almost didn’t recognize Tattiawna Jones, the actress who plays Lillie, looking this stylish on her Instagram page.
Rebecca Rittenhouse (Odette)
Rebecca Rittenhouse plays Odette, Moira’s fiancée. They become separated when the takeover of the regime begins, and later Moira discovers that Odette never survived after they last saw each other. Rebecca Rittenhouse is a rising star in the acting business, with shows like Red Band Society, ABC’s crime drama Blood & Oil, and the Mindy Kaling comedy The Mindy Project. The actress is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also extremely talented, and we love her for it.
Ann Dowd (Aunt Lydia)
Ann Dowd also won an Emmy for playing the role of Aunt Lydia on the show. Aunt Lydia is no doubt one of the most controversial characters. Although she sometimes cares for the Handmaids, she’s also incredibly cruel to them at times, and spares no punishment from them. Ann Dowd is much nicer in real life, and we’re pretty sure she’s far more likable, too! The talented actress is looking elegant in the picture below, with an outfit that suits her much better than those Aunt uniform.
Kristen Gutoskie (Beth)
Beth appears in the episode where Commander Waterford takes June out to a club called Jezebel’s. She’s a Martha assigned to the club, who does business and trades with the Waterfords’ Guardian, Nick. She also makes advances at him, which he refuses because of his feelings for June. Kristen Gutoskie had a recurring role on The Vampire Diaries as Seline, who was also less than amicable. But the actress seems like a lovely person in real life, and she certainly knows how to rock that cold shoulder look.
Clea DuVall (Sylvia)
Clea DuVall plays Sylvia, Emily’s wife from her previous life before she was a Handmaid. They had a child together, but as they were about to leave the country, they realized Emily wasn’t going to be allowed out of Gilead, and had to go their separate ways. The actress, writer, and producer has been pretty busy since she began acting, playing in over 80 credits! While she doesn’t often play the most glamorous girls, this picture proves she has plenty of glam on her own.
Cherry Jones (Holly)
Cherry Jones plays Holly, June’s mother, seen by flashbacks on the show. Holly seems very judgmental at first, as she doesn’t approve of June’s life choices. She is hardly there for her, since she’s busy promoting agendas that fight the anti-woman movement. But June eventually realizes she was right in dedicating all of her time to the cause. In real life, Cherry Jones is a gifted actress, who’s won both a Tony Award and an Emmy. And judging by this picture, we can hardly believe she’s 61 years old!
Kelly Jenrette (Annie)
Annie is definitely not everyone’s favorite character on the show. Seen in flashbacks, she was Luke’s first wife before June started seeing him (while he was still married, mind you). After Luke ends things with her, she goes berserk on June, accusing her for stealing her man. Not to say that’s not true, June is still the main character so it’s only natural for viewers to side with her. Kelly Jenrette is the actress who plays Annie, and we love seeing her smile in this picture!
Sydney Sweeney (Eden Spencer)
Sydney Sweeney plays the young and innocent Eden, who marries Nick but falls in love with another Guardian. It’s her persistence that she did nothing wrong that eventually leads to her demise, but we love her even more for her strength towards the end. In reality, Sydney is 20 years old and just as fierce. And judging by her Instagram page, she really knows how to make most of life – and she definitely seems fun!
Erin Way (Erin)
Erin Way plays Erin, a Handmaid who was rescued by Mayday, but remained unable to speak due to trauma she experienced before her rescue. However, she does finally break the silence, and delivers one of the show’s best lines ever. She says “blessed be the Froot Loops,” instead of the Gilead mannerism “blessed by the fruit.” Erin Way definitely knows how to play those quirky roles, but in real life she’s just a regular girl who likes having fun.
Madeline Brewer (Janine)
Janine is one of the most prominent characters on the show. She’s mentally unstable, so as a Handmaid she experiences some problems – one of which is losing an eye as punishment for talking back. But she bounces back and manages to stay strong and positive throughout it all. The stunning Madeline Brewer looks completely different, and much less crazed, in real life. And thankfully, she has both her eyes intact, because they’re certainly one of her most striking features!
Amanda Brugel (Rita)
Amanda Brugel plays Rita on the show, the Waterfords’ Martha, responsible for making the food around the house. She’s obedient and tries to keep her head down, but she also helps June when it’s necessary, despite the danger. On The Handmaid’s Tale, she’s always wearing gray outfits (as Marthas do), but in her real life Amanda has a rather colorful sense of style, as you can see in this picture. She looks gorgeous in this royal-blue summer dress, and very different from her character.