Samira Wiley and Margaret Atwood’s friendship is everything we ever dreamed of

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Moya Crockett

There are some women who you just know would be fun to hang out with. Samira Wiley – actor, jubilant Instagrammer, and one half of the most beautiful wedding photo of 2017 so far – is one of them. Margaret Atwood is another. (If you don’t believe that a 77-year-old dystopian fiction author could have a wicked sense of humour, just check her Twitter.)

Wiley recently spoke to the Guardian about her friendship with Atwood, solidifying our desire to invite the pair out for drinks. The pair first met at a dinner for the TV adaptation of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, in which Wiley plays escaped handmaid Moira.

At first, Wiley was so nervous about speaking to Atwood that she asked her Handmaid’s co-star Elisabeth Moss to switch places with her at the table. However, the pair are now such good friends that Atwood regularly posts mischievous comments on Wiley’s social media.

“If you go to my Instagram,” says Wiley, “Margaret Atwood likes all of my pictures. She usually comments on them.”

“It’s not like she writes in Atwood prose; they’re usually just emojis,” continues the former Orange is the New Black star. “I put up a picture of me kissing my wife, and she just responded with a tongue emoji.”

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Wiley, who married her wife Lauren Morelli earlier this year, says that she “really identified” with her Handmaid’s Tale character when she first read the script.

“Moira is so many minorities, and she is all of the minorities that I am: she is a black, gay woman,” says Wiley. “And the experience of walking through the world being a black, gay woman is such a specific experience.

“Sometimes, you can’t even talk about all of the things you go through, with that as your reality.”


Samira Wiley with her wife Lauren Morelli.

In The Handmaid’s Tale, Moira manages to escape life as a handmaid – although her life outside forced pregnancy still involves sexual servitude. Her determination to do things her own way also resonated with Wiley.

“[She] has such strength, she is such a spitball of fire… Moira is always going to survive,” says the actress.

“Growing up, I have been that person who pushes the envelope and is doing things that other people are not as ready to,” she continues. “I even think about my journey as being an out member of the LGBT community.

“I felt very connected to Moira in that way.”

Images: Rex Features,


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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women's Editor at, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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