“Handmaid’s Tale” Star Samira Wiley on Why She Chose “Night” as Her Emmy Episode

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handmaids tale samira wiley

Samira Wiley spent much of the season finale of Hulu’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE alone onscreen, as her character Moira made a beeline for the Canadian border and suddenly found herself all alone in a whole new world.

The character’s final journey of the season created a unique challenge for the actress, who chose the episode, entitled “Night,” as the one she would submit to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for Emmy consideration.

“It’s so hard sometimes to do scenes by yourself,” the newly minted Emmy nominee, in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama category, told Tracking Board of why she chose that episode. “I find acting sometimes really is something that works best with two people, or more than that, and you’re only as good as your scene partner and they bring things out in you. So that was difficult for me. A lot of the acting I did in that episode was just me by myself.”

The actress said she also enjoyed the silence in the episode.

“I remember the scene so much where – there’s really no words – when Moira first has her realization that she is in Canada,” Wiley recalled. “I remember just doing that scene over and over again… And there’s a few scenes where she’s just mute, when she gets to Canada, it’s ‘here’s your money, here’s your health insurance card, here’s this, here’s that.’ And the last moment she has with Luke, even that is sort of this silent moment. To me it felt like an achievement to be able to do that by myself. And I felt like I had such help the rest of the season, from Elisabeth [Moss] specifically, she’s such an amazing scene partner. So to have this final moment where Moira, where we really see her alone, was powerful to me.”

In the Best Supporting Actress Drama category, Wiley is up against her Handmaid’s Tale co-star Ann Dowd as well as her former Orange Is the New Black co-star Uzo Aduba, as well as Millie Bobby BRown of Stranger Things, Chrissy Metz of This Is Us and Thandie Newton of Westworld.

The awards will be handed out Sunday, September 17 and will air live on CBS.

Stay tuned for more of our interview with Wiley.

  | TV Editor
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