The Emmy Awards have wrapped. "Big Little Lies" was a big winner along with Donald Glover, "Saturday Night Live" and "The Handmaid's Tale." Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win for writing in a comedy series, "Handmaid's" was the first streaming show to win drama, and Donald Glover was the first black man to win directing in comedy. Check out our behind-the-scenes stories, fashion breakdowns and red carpet interviews.
With “Game of Thrones” debuting too late to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, plenty of fresh names were in the running for best drama series. But ultimately, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” — based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a futuristic, totalitarian patriarchal theocracy that prizes fertile women above all else — scored the top honor.
Creator Bruce Miller had no trouble answering what he hopes audiences will take away from the show: “a desire to watch the second season," he replied quickly. "No, if we’ve done our job well, it’ll be different for everyone who watches it.”
On Hulu being the first streaming service to win one of the Emmy’s top two prizes,” Miller added: “The way Hulu handled our show, they were bold and behind us and committed to making something different. If streaming services continue to do that, I don’t see a limit to what they [can do].”
The entire evening, said Elisabeth Moss — who won the Emmy for lead actress for her role as Offred — was a “roller coaster of emotions.”
Perhaps that’s what prompted the F-bombs during her acceptance speech.
“That was the best version you could have gotten of that — that was the clean version,” she joked. “You do have an out-of-body experience [accepting the award]. It’s a surprise. It should be a surprise; otherwise, you’re an A-hole.”
On a more serious note, Moss added that the many wins for women Sunday night — and for such strong roles — could be considered a positive turn for Hollywood: “We’ve made incredible progress, but there’s still a lot of work to be done,” she said. “But obviously incredible progress is being made. It’s not just women in front of the camera but behind the camera. ... we need to see more of that.”
“As a young actor, you don’t pay attention to the limitations placed upon you,” said Ann Dowd, who won the Emmy for supporting actress. “Now there are so many more opportunities. It’s a beautiful thing.
“There’s a war going on every day, a battle for women’s rights,” producer Warren Littlefield added. “And the fact that we can remind people that the resistance is alive — there are days in America that feels like it’s a prequel to [the show's fictitious Republic of] Gilead, so maybe we can help with the fight.”
Atwood finally stepped forward to offer what she hopes people will take away from the book and the TV series.
“Well, one take-away would be ‘never believe it can never happen here,’” she said. “Which was one of the premises I used for the book. Nothing went into the book that people hadn’t done at some point in time, in some place.”
Then she mentioned several pop cultural offshoots of “Handmaid’s Tale” that the show’s popularity has sparked. There’s a graphic novel, she said, and a man’s version of “The Handmaid’s Tale” on YouTube, apparently. And she receives fan pictures of viewers’ pets — dogs, cats — dressed in Handmaids’ garb.
“In a way, you can say the handmaids have escaped,” Atwood said. “They’re out there, and they’re coming to you again in Season 2!”