Emily is returning to Gilead after all. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alexis Bledel is confirmed to return for the sophomore season of the hit Hulu original series The Handmaid’s Tale as a series regular. Bledel previously held the recurring role of Emily, also known as Ofglen, for the first half of the rookie season.
The character is introduced as a companion of June/Offred (Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss). She is later captured and tortured by the extremely conservative government of Gilead because of her romantic relationship with another female.
The amount of episodes Emily/Ofglen appeared in during Season 1 is reportedly correlated with Bledel’s work on the Netflix original series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Now that the revival series has come to an end, Bledel was given the option to return to the Hulu series as a series regular for Season 2.
Bledel previously spoke with The Hollywood Reporter in late April to discuss her role in The Handmaid’s Tale. “[Ofglen]’s such a rich character so it’s a real opportunity for me to dig in a bit deeper,” she said. “It’s endlessly interesting to play a character who had this former life and a family and an identity that was stripped from her and now she’s essentially enslaved and oppressed and fearing for her life. If she takes a misstep or says the wrong thing in front of the wrong person…there’s an underlying tension in all of the scenes.” She went on the say that while Emily/Ofglen has similarities with her past characters, playing Emily/Ofglen is one of the greatest challenges of her career. “It’s funny because this character actually has certain elements of other characters I’ve played. The rebellious streak and the fighter and at times she has a holier-than-thou quality. I’ve had that in other roles, but this role kind of encapsulates a lot of different things I can do so it’s just exciting.”
Prior to the series Season 2 renewal, Bledel was hoping to receive an expanded storyline for the upcoming season. She said, “I was a guest star in season one but they’re saying recurring now so I’m hopeful that I get to come back.”
Apart from Bledel’s performance as Rory Gilmore in The WB-turned-The CW’s Gilmore Girls and the show’s revival, the actress has made guest appearances in ER, Mad Men, and Motive. She also starred alongside Zachary Levi in the 2013 Hallmark Hall of Fame film Remember Sunday.