Warning! This article contains spoilers.
Until about a week ago, nobody knew Samira Wiley had become a mom.
The Handmaid's Tale actress marveled at how she and wife Lauren Maurelli kept their pregnancy a secret, telling E! News in an exclusive interview, "It's really interesting, the things you can hide in a pandemic. We just didn't post pictures about it and it ended up being fine."
It was, of course, difficult to keep such exciting news from her co-stars, revealing that "everybody knew" they were expecting their first child together. She remarked, "I don't think there was anybody on set who didn't know that I was about to be a mom. It was like all I talked about, all the time."
As such, Samira said there was a lot of discussion about what to expect, with Yvonne Strahovski, Amanda Brugel and Bradley Whitford offering their takes on parenthood.
"I asked for advice from people here and there, from people just on the crew—like literally anyone," the Orange Is the New Black actress shared. "And no matter how much you want to ask about another person's experience, it's not going to be your experience, you know?"
She continued, "Like, you can get as much advice and stuff from other people, but I think the thing that really I took away from most of the people who I talked to, and I specifically remember Yvonne talking about it, was just like being in bliss... just like being in this baby bubble."
This advice is part of the reason she and Lauren waited a month before announcing George's arrival, a period of time Samira is grateful for. She said, "It was amazing."
That month also gave Samira the opportunity to learn what it's truly like to be a mom, having played one before but never experiencing it firsthand. She explained that playing a surrogate mother to June's (Elisabeth Moss) daughter, Nichole, taught her the basics—like how to change a diaper and hold a baby correctly, but having George "definitely made me realize that I didn't really understand it as much as I thought it might."
The newborn even changed her perspective of Handmaid's Tale, particularly Yvonne's character, Serena Waterford.
"Like, Yvonne is such an amazing actress. Right? So, in the first few seasons, she really makes you hate Serena with like, this vitriol, but later she's walking around holding this baby bump," she explained, before adding, "[but] I've wanted to be a mom my entire life, and obviously, so has she... And, yeah, it's just it's complicated. It's very complicated."
When it comes to Moira's relationship with June, however, Samira has a clear-cut understanding of the dynamic. As she explained, Moira still feels a sense of "survivor's guilt" having been the one to get out of Gilead, which is why in episode six, she had no qualms sneaking her best friend out of the country, even though June and Luke's (OT Fagbenle) daughter Hannah would be left behind.
"I think that ever since she has been separated from June on that platform in season one on the train, that she's had this survivor's guilt, right? That June is like this missing puzzle piece, and if I just get her back then everything will be okay," she reasoned. "It sounds kind of insensitive but like, Moira and Luke are here... your whole family is here."
But this is purely from Moira's perspective. Samira explained that she's managed to separate herself from her onscreen persona quite well, sharing, "I don't bring Moira and the trauma of Gilead back home to Lauren and George."
The Handmaid's Tale comes out with a new episode every Wednesday on Hulu.