Magazine article Variety

Samira Wiley

Magazine article Variety

Samira Wiley

Article excerpt


'The Handmaid's Tale,' Hulu / Season 1 ep. 4, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum"

Written by Leila Gerstein; Directed by Mike Barker

Samira wiley became a beloved fixture of Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black" before her character Poussey was tragically killed at the end of the fourth season. Now she's in Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale," in which she plays Moira, an activist lesbian who finds a way to fight Gilead's oppressors even as they tighten their grip around her. In the fourth episode, "Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum," Offred (Elisabeth Moss) remembers Moira's rebellion - from speaking up during "training" to staging a daring escape plan. Wiley recounts playing the episode, in which she first attacks Aunt Elizabeth (Edie Inksetter) and then manages to sneak onto a subway sonia saraiya

Wiley: It was the first episode not directed by Reed Morano. So we already had to get used to someone else at the helm of the project. [Mike Barker] was amazing. I felt like all of my fears went away once I got to set. Literally it was Lizzie Moss telling me how great the director was and that we didn't need to be afraid. But by that time, I think that one of the things that really helped me is creating that relationship that Moira has with Offred's character. I'd been able to do that over the past three episodes. So to be able to feel like this tag team, not having to got through that alone ... Moira doesn't all of a sudden have the guts to be able to do this. She had her partner-in-crime whom she's known since college. I always say that being in a scene, you're only as good an actor as the person who you're doing the scene with. I know that it probably would have maybe been not as impactful if I didn't have [Moss] right by my side.

The adrenaline of it, everything felt like high school. [Aunt Elizabeth] comes in; I'm hiding in the corner. …

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