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Ann Dowd Digs Into Aunt Lydia’s Crisis of Faith on The Handmaid’s Tale

Elle
 2021-06-08

Cover picture for the articleThere’s no shortage of tyrannical—yet nuanced—villains in The Handmaid’s Tale, from Bradley Whitford’s Commander Joseph Lawrence to Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy. But Ann Dowd’s Aunt Lydia, whose ironclad grip on power in Gilead seems to be weakening this season, is perhaps the most unsettling character to watch. She’s capable of horrific and unspeakable levels of cruelty, has devoted herself wholeheartedly to enforcing the systematic rape of hundreds of women, and has no qualms about mutilating and torturing those who cross her. But she’s also capable of genuine affection, and seems to truly love at least a few of her Handmaids—none more so than Janine (Madeline Brewer).

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