'The Handmaid's Tale' Star Leaving Series Before Season 5

One of the stars of The Handmaid's Tale won't be returning for Season 5. Deadline reported that Alexis Bledel, who has portrayed Emily/Ofglen, will not return for the next season of the Hulu series. This marks a major departure for the show, as Bledel has been a part of the cast since The Handmaid's Tale, based on the novel of the same name by Margaret Atwoodfirst dropped in 2017.

Bledel released a statement about her exit in which she expressed her gratitude to the team behind the adaptation. She stated, "After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time. I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support." Bledel received high praise for her work on The Handmaid's Tale. Deadline noted that she received an Emmy nomination for the role for each of the four seasons in which she appeared. She won an Emmy for her work in 2017 after being nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. 

It was reported in June 2021 that The Handmaid's Tale was renewed for Season 5. To announce the news, Hulu shared a video featuring members of the cast including Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Strahovski, and Max Minghella. At the time, Bledel was featured in the clip, which saw the cast members speaking about filming Season 5. The next season is expected to pick up after the events of the explosive Season 4 finale, which aired in June 2021. In an interview with Deadline published shortly after the Season 4 finale dropped, creator Bruce Miller spoke about how filming for Season 5 was going. While he did not share too many details, he did tease that it will be one that fans will enjoy. 

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"It's going beautifully. I mean, it's nice to be able to think about a season where we can actually maybe be on set and do it normally," Miller said. "We're just starting to kind of gather our wool and gather our writers and gather up people to pull them back together. But you know, it does reflect back on this season." It's unclear when exactly Season 5 of The Handmaid's Tale will air. Although, it is expected to premiere later this year.