Ann Dowd on The Handmaid’s Tale: it’s a form of activism
After a late-career renaissance with characters in The Handmaids Tale and The Leftovers, the actor explains why her work is defiant and how she got muse from an unlikely generator: American football manager Bill Belichick
As Aunt Lydia in The Handmaids Tale, the Hulu adjustment of Margaret Atwoods 1985 dystopian fiction, Ann Dowd is both startling and tender, a disciplinarian have the responsibility policing the fertile handmaids who abide children for the tyrannical theocrats of Gilead. As Patti Levin on The Leftovers, she barely uttered a word in season one, playing the steely, chain-smoking lead of a doomsday religion thats sworn to silence. But if anyone can oblige the most of a largely inaudible attribute, its Dowd, who, with Pattis massive season two arc, became a sun, that rare breed of performer who gets in the mental excavations with stoic, gritty personas to reveal a veiled humanity.
Its been a very happy amaze, she tells me of her long-awaited breakout. All I ever wanted was a successful vocation as an actress.
How Dowd pulls it off draws feel only when we speak; her executions are so nuanced and immersive that their idea can seem incoherent, a scrumptious banquet with a secret recipe. But she found inspiration for Lydia and Patti in strange, unexpected places: a Yeats poem, New England Patriots manager Bill Belichick, a former Catholic schoolteacher named Mother Claude. An performer of lesser ability might hyperbolize, turn Lydia and Patti into parodies of cultish villainy and ideological zeal, but not Dowd.
First of all, if youre playing a attribute, its a relationship, she tells me of her ordeal playing Aunt Lydia. And you better not move in with ruling because youre not going to get anywhere. Youre going to have a one-sided evil person, and then it becomes a repugnance movie where you can say, Thank God thats not real.
Dowd, 61, regularly slips into the first person when talking about her references, which is immensely attractiveness and a bit spooky, especially when it seems like Aunt Lydias talking instantly to me. Shes a human being. She cherishes those girls, shes devoted to their wellbeing, and its up to me to make sure they have a meaningful life, Dowd tells. So lets stay sharp, girls. What were doing here is going to save your life.