10+ 'The Handmaid's Tale' Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Fans Definitely Didn't Know

Those who possess a strong faculty and an even stronger stomach know that The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most disturbing and provocative series currently streaming on the internet.

So in order to help bring a new level of understanding to this brutal dystopian drama, I've compiled 10+ The Handmaid's Tale behind-the-scenes secrets fans definitely didn't know.

The show is based on a novel written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

Season 1 concludes precisely how Atwood's novel did, but that's where the similarities stop.

From season 2 onward, all of the writing is based on completely new and original concepts.

This isn't the first time the novel has been adapted.

In total, there have been ten different adaptations and interpretations of "The Handmaid's Tale." They range everywhere from ballet to radio performances.

There was even a movie made back in the early '90s

The series holds special significance to actress Amanda Brugel.

Amanda plays Rita, one of the Marthas of Gilead. Her essay on "The Handmaid's Tale" got her accepted into University and she also wrote her thesis on the subject.

She's described meeting Margaret Atwood as a dream come true.

They were in Canada the entire time.

Though the series is set in the alternate dystopian universe of Gilead, filming actually takes place north of the border.

The series shoots on location in Toronto, ON, which is somewhat ironic — considering that's precisely where the characters in Atwood's novel escape to.

The TV show took one major creative liberty from the book.

In Margaret Atwood's novel, the people of Gilead aren't just inherently cruel — they're also horribly racist. Therefore, there are no Black characters.

“What’s the difference between making a TV show about racists and making a racist TV show where you don’t hire any actors of color?" showrunner Bruce Miller asked during an interview with The Guardian.

Elisabeth Moss is also a producer on the show.

Not just in title, either. Elisabeth prides herself on being incredibly hands-on. As she explained to Indie Wire:

“For me, to have a voice in this industry after doing this for 28 years, to be able to have a say in anything — it’s like crack,” she said.

According to author Margaret Atwood, *The Handmaid's Tale* isn't science fiction.

One thing that Margaret makes crystal clear is that everything you read in the book and see on TV has actually happened somewhere at some point in history.

Therefore, there's nothing 'fictional' about The Handmaid's Tale.

Margaret Atwood wrote the novel all the way back in 1984.

Not only that, but Margaret didn't even write it on her own machine.

She was traveling in Berlin and rented a typewriter in order to accommodate her writing needs.

*The Handmaid's Tale* made history at the Emmy Awards.

In 2017, The Handmaid's Tale took home the honor for "Best Drama," making it the first streaming series ever to do so.

That means Hulu beat out the very best that Netflix had to offer: House of Cards, Orange is the New Black as well as The Crown.

The actors rely heavily on their ability to hear their coworkers.

The wings that the Handmaids are forced to wear are meant to obstruct their faces from the world, but it also makes it incredibly hard to see when you're acting.

Silence on set, therefore, is a necessity.

The artwork in the Commander's house is stolen.

This is an allusion to the Nazis in World War II, who stole countless priceless pieces of art during the German occupation of Europe.

It's a way of subtly expressing the essence of the Commander's character: cruel and deceptive.

Margaret Atwood makes a cameo appearance in the pilot episode.

Margaret plays an Aunt, one of the cruel overlords of the Handmaids.

You can spot her quite easily, as she's the one who slaps Offred in the head during her initiation.

Ann Dowd absolutely terrified the cast with her unrivalled acting talents.

Ann has admitted that one of her favorite parts about playing such a brutal and intimidating part is having a little fun with the extras on set.

She's been known to stay in character and absolutely terrify the newcomers.

The central message of the series revolves around complacency.

Director Reed Morano doesn't pull punches with her words. According to her interview with Esquire, Morano feels:

"We're too complacent. We let things happen to us. And you don't have to let things happen to you. You can affect change. Here's a not-so-subtle warning."

Jospeh Fiennes has said that the show has made him an even bigger feminist than he already was.

Fiennes spoke to The Huffington Post about how playing Commander Waterford "jolted" him awake to the many disparages that take place on a daily basis between the sexes.

The star now considers himself an active and vocal member of the Women's Rights movement.