After winning an Emmy Award and three more consecutive Emmy nominations for her performance as Emily Malek — the Handmaid also known by the patronyms Ofglen, Ofsteven, Ofroy, and Ofjoseph — why did Alexis Bledel leave The Handmaid’s Tale?
The actress announced her decision to exit The Handmaid’s Tale on Friday, May 27, ahead of the dystopian Hulu drama’s fifth season, which is currently filming in Toronto, Ontario. And fans are scrambling for answers.
Alexis said she “felt [she] had to step away.”
For her part, Alexis is keeping mum about her decision-making process, saying only that she “had to step away” from the show. But in a statement on Friday, she gave her thanks to The Handmaid’s Tale screenwriter Bruce Miller, who adapted the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name for the screen.
“After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid’s Tale at this time,” the 40-year-old said in her statement, according to Variety. “I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, [and] the cast and crew for their support.”
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ fans are “heartbroken” over this “big loss.”
The news of Alexis’ Handmaid’s Tale departure stunned fans, judging from reactions on Twitter. Many people hailed the Gilmore Girls alum’s portrayal of Emily, a college professor who is forced into becoming a Handmaid but eventually joins the Mayday resistance group.
“Alexis Bledel will not return to The Handmaid’s Tale. I am heartbroken,” one fan account tweeted on Friday.
“Personally, I think she’s the best actor in the series,” another fan tweeted. “This is a big loss.”
A third fan tweeted on Friday, “Thank you, Alexis Bledel, for portraying so perfectly such a brilliant, strong, and representative character for four seasons. I’ll miss Emily Malek so much.”
And another person told Alexis on Twitter to “enjoy some family time.” (Alexis married Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser in 2014 and welcomed a son with him the following year.)
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for a third ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ movie.
Alexis’ IMDb filmography shows no upcoming projects for the actress, other than the long-rumored Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants threequel. In 2018, Alexis announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon that plans were afoot for a third installment of the film series, in which she starred alongside America Ferrera, Blake Lively, and Amber Tamblyn.
After that Tonight Show reveal, Amber said that a script had been written.“I realize what I’m about to say regarding the third installment of the Sisterhood franchise is not enough to break the Internet, but certainly could crack it…” Amber tweeted at the time. “Alexis is right. We’ve been pitching, and there is a script. A good one. It’s up to a studio now to make the film. So far, no luck. So keep your fingers crossed, or knock down their doors with jeans emojis.”
Then, in November 2021, America said in a SiriusXM interview that it was “unofficially, officially unofficial” that the third Sisterhood movie was “officially unofficially in development.”