Alexis Bledel has finished her telling of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
The 40-year-old actress announced Friday that she’s exiting the futuristic dystopian Hulu series after the show’s fourth season, which aired last spring.
“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ at this time,” Bledel said in a statement provided to USA TODAY by her representative. “I am forever grateful to (show creator) Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support.”
Hulu’s flagship drama is expected to return for a fifth season.
Bledel has been part of “The Handmaid’s Tale” since the show’s debut in 2017 as Emily Malek/Ofglen, companion to protagonist June Osborne/Offred (Elisabeth Moss), and won an Emmy (out of four nominations) for her role. The series, set in the totalitarian state of Gilead – formerly the United States, where women are the property of the state and assigned to have babies – is adapted from the acclaimed 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood.
“Television and drama are safe places to see your worst fears acted out and kind of experience them at a remove,” Miller told a Television Critics Association panel in February, ahead of the Season 4 premiere. “When you come up with something horrible in your head and put it on television, and then hear something like it happening in the real world, it’s just sickening.”
“We remain unbelievably relevant,” executive producer Warren Littlefield added. “And we kind of wish we weren’t.”
Bledel is beloved for her role as Rory Gilmore in both the original “Gilmore Girls” and the 2016 revival “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Fans will also recognize her from her appearances in “Mad Men” and her role as Lena in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movies.
Contributing: Kelly Lawler
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