Elisabeth Moss Remembers Her ‘Toughest’ Moment Filming ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ On a Cold Day
Although "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss has over 90 acting credits under her belt, the most professionally challenging day of her career so far surprisingly happened on "The Handmaid's Tale."
With a career spanning three decades, Elisabeth Moss has worked on many physically and emotionally demanding projects, including "The West Wing," "Mad Men," and "The Invisible Man."
However, the most challenging day of her career came while filming Hulu's dystopian TV series "The Handmaid's Tale." The show has been critically acclaimed, so facing those challenges must have been worth it.
Based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel of the same name, "The Handmaid's Tale" follows June Osborne (Moss) and her life in a fundamentalist-totalitarian society of the United States called the Republic of Gilead.
Fertility rates plummeted in Gilead, so authorities demanded fertile women like June to be romantically involved with the republic's childless leaders.
The intriguing premise immediately captured a large audience, but the show's impressive development and sinister details have kept it running for four seasons.
Hulu announced in December 2020 that they would renew "The Handmaid's Tale" for a fifth season. Production started in February 2022 between Toronto and Brantford in Ontario, Canada.
In Brantford, filming took place in Victoria Park, the Wilfrid Laurier University campus, Wellington, and other neighborhoods. The city and college authorities informed people and students about what streets would be closed for shooting via a press release.
Toronto also welcomed the show with open arms. They shot in Yonge-Dundas Square (the city's busiest public square), and the wealthy neighborhood of Bridle Path, a location they previously used for exterior takes of Commander Putnam's house (Stephen Kunken).
I'm not trying to sound weak, but it was really cold.
Filming on location instead of using green screens or sound stages gave the final product a more realistic feel. However, it makes the filming process more challenging because most things rely on the weather.
Elisabeth Moss knows it firsthand. She confessed the toughest day of her career happened while filming "The Handmaid's Tale" in Toronto.
Moss recalled they shot at the City Hall, but it was "brutally" cold. The temperature was so low that other shows halted production. Moss did not exaggerate – the average temperature in Toronto can drop to 28° F. The actress added:
"That was hard. I'm not trying to sound weak, but it was really cold, I'm telling you it was freezing. That was the hardest day."
Moss' latest project is "Shining Girls," which focuses on a reporter investigating the crimes of the killer she escaped from years ago and left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The multi-hyphenate artist changed Toronto for Chicago to film the Apple TV+ series, and she complained it was "really hot" there. Moss joked that she needed to shoot in a place with a pleasant climate, like Los Angeles.
Elisabeth Moss is not the only actress who complained about the weather. Anya Taylor-Joy admitted she was glad to survive the filming process of "The Northman," starring Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, and Willem Defoe.