Ann Dowd on The Handmaid’s Tale: it’s a form of activism
After a late-career renaissance with capacities in The Handmaids Tale and The Leftovers, the actor explains why her work is insolent and how she got inspiration from an unlikely root: American football tutor Bill Belichick
As Aunt Lydia in The Handmaids Tale, the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwoods 1985 dystopian romance, Ann Dowd is both terrifying and tender, a disciplinarian tasked with policing the fruitful handmaids who bear children for the tyrannical theocrats of Gilead. As Patti Levin on The Leftovers, she scarcely breathed a word in season one, dallying the steely, chain-smoking master of a doomsday faith thats sworn to stillnes. But if anyone can realize the most of a largely inaudible courage, its Dowd, who, with Pattis big season two arc, became a perform, that rare produce of performer “whos got” in the psychological furrows with stoic, gritty characters to uncover a veiled humanity.
Its been a very happy astonish, she tells me of her long-awaited breakout. All I ever craved was a successful job as an actress.
How Dowd gathers it off impels impression only when we speak; her renditions are so nuanced and immersive that their understanding can seem meaningless, a scrumptious dinner with a secret recipe. But she found inspiration for Lydia and Patti in strange, unexpected situates: a Yeats poem, New England Patriots tutor Bill Belichick, a onetime Catholic schoolteacher identified Mother Claude. An actor of lesser ability might hyperbolize, roll Lydia and Patti into mockeries of cultish ill and ideological zeal, but not Dowd.
First of all, if youre representing a reputation, its a relationship, she tells me of her know-how playing Aunt Lydia. And you better not move in with judging because youre not going to get anywhere. Youre going to have a one-sided evil person, and then it becomes a cruelty movie where you can say, Thank God thats not real.
Dowd, 61, frequently steals into the first party when talking about her personas, which is immensely charisma and a little bit terrifying, especially when it seems like Aunt Lydias talking directly to me. Shes a human being. She loves those girls, shes devoted to their wellbeing, and its up to me to make sure they have a meaningful life, Dowd replies. So causes stay sharp-worded, daughters. What were doing here is going to save your life.
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