Yvonne Strahovski acknowledge the irony of falling pregnant on The Handmaid’s Tale

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Kayleigh Dray
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“Of course there have been a lot of ‘blessed be the fruit’ jokes,” said The Handmaid’s Tale star.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale (in which Elisabeth Moss plays titular ‘handmaid’, Offred) takes place in Gilead, a near-future version of North America in which the Constitution has been overthrown. As a result of this, women’s rights and identities have been stripped away, with fertile women being rounded up, red tagged, and forced to bear children for the wealthy high-status families they are ‘owned’ by.

The aim? To produce a healthy baby in the midst of an infertility crisis.

However, Offred and her red-robed comrades are just treated as surrogates: if they do, by some miracle, fall pregnant, they are forced to carry their babies to term and then hand them over to the infertile wives of their rapists.

One such wife, of course, is Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) – who has been unable to bear children of her own after taking a bullet to the womb during the pre-Gilead era. Indeed, her infertility is a plot element central to the TV adaptation.

The irony of falling pregnant during filming, then, was not lost on Strahovski.

“Of course there have been a lot of ‘blessed be the fruit’ jokes,” the actress told The Project earlier this year.

Explaining that she found it impossible to hide the first few months of her pregnancy from the show’s cast and crew, Strahovski added: “It was quite interesting hiding the pregnancy actually, because my first trimester was episode nine through to the end of Handmaid’s Tale.

“There are a lot of pregnancy symptoms that nobody tells you about, which I am sure all women are familiar with, but I had no idea – this is really gross – I had excessive saliva.”

To make matters worse the unusual symptom was so severe the actor had to carry “a little spittoon” around with her on set.

“In the end I was over hiding it so I just sort of said, ‘you know what I’m pregnant!’” Strahovski said.

Now, the actress has confirmed that she and her husband, Tim Loden, are now the proud parents of a baby boy.

Announcing her son’s arrival on Instagram, alongside the first photo of her baby boy, Strahovski wrote: “My heart has melted into a billion pieces a thousand times already.

“We have been blessed with the greatest joy of our lives, our baby boy. Welcome to the world Peanut, your parents love you beyond measure and you are already my little dream boat. My heart has been stolen!”

Don’t despair, though, for Strahovski will be reprising her role as Serena Joy in the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is slated for release in April 2019.

While we don’t know much about what’s going to happen next (that season two finale was a humdinger), we know that it’s already in pre-production, and is due to begin filming in the autumn of 2018.

The Handmaid’s Tale writer Yahlin Chang has said that the show will continue to be inspired by real life events, specifically the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. 

“We do talk about what to do in season three and we’re all horrified by these family separations,” she said. “We wish that everything we were talking about was made up and not real, for sure. It is very uncanny timing.”

Image: Channel 4/Hulu


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.