The Handmaid's Tale is set in a dystopian world, a world where women virtually have no rights and fertile ones are assigned to households of rich and powerful men to have their children. Those who break laws are punished. There are public hangings, public stoning, and of course the Colonies, a toxic wasteland where people are put to work, often to their deaths. The Handmaid's Tale is not a show full of laughs, at least on camera.
"We have a great time," Madeline Brewer told E! News' Sibley Scoles at The Handmaid's Tale's PaleyFest event. "I think it sounds strange to people when I say, ‘Oh my god, I have so much fun on that show. I have the best time!' It's like, ‘Wow, you're enjoying that? OK…' But we have a great time. We crack up!"
Brewer said she's made friends with her costars, which include Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, O-T Fagbenle, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd and Amanda Brugel.
The cast seems to have a variety of ways to keep it light while telling harrowing tales. Wiley's go-to? Cookies.
"I just get a cookie when the cookie tray comes by. That's a thing! The cookie tray comes by once a day…fresh-baked cookies, every day on set," Wiley told us.
Brugel employs props.
"I really, really like to—especially in scenes when I'm with Lizzie—I like to dress up," Brugel said. "So, wear like, either reindeer antlers and just walk in in the middle of a take when she's all serious and just in her moment and just try to break it. All of us have slight awkward senses of humor, so we try to one-up each other."
Strahovski and a few others turned to reality TV. "I will tell you there was a lot of discussion about the current season—or what just passed—The Bachelor," Strahovski said. There are viewing parties and of course episodic quarterback conversations. They even got Fiennes in on the fun.
"We even got Joseph Fiennes to watch an episode. He's going to kill me for saying that," she joked.
Click play on the video above to hear more from The Handmaid's Tale cast.
The Handmaid's Tale returns for season two on Wednesday, April 25 on Hulu.