It's almost like the GOP is doing the Hulu publicity team a favor.

For Moss, this fraught confluence of events provides a giant opportunity: the chance to shake off Peggy in favor of a role that could be even more indelible.

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Handmaids, who wear red, are forced sexual/reproductive surrogates, trained and maintained by another class of women, the brown-clad older Aunts, who maintain order and dole out punishment. Everyone is modestly covered, and only the Wives can show their hair.

The misogyny is so overt and outsized that this part of the show still reads as surreal. There, Moss's character is known as June, not, as she's later called, Offred—literally of-Fred, her Commander, played by Joseph Fiennes.

Even though she's been doing a grueling schedule of publicity for the show, in addition to the inhuman hours she put in on and off set, she's still dying to talk about the book and her character: "It's one of my favorite books in the world now, even after having read it nine million times." She can quote from it at will, and not just the best known lines like "a word after a word after a word is power" (though she does quote that one).

She refers to its author as "Margaret," and brings up things that Margaret has said to her enough that I start to get the sense that they're genuinely tight, which is more impressive to me than if she'd offhandedly referred to a personal relationship with, say, Beyoncé.

For her part, Atwood has palpable respect for Moss; she describes her to me as "very smart" in a brief phone call that left me certain that this is a judgment Atwood doles out very, very rarely. " several times as I ramble nervously and points out flaws in my questions on the levels of philosophy, fact, and grammar; I hang up feeling like I've taken a dip in very pure, very cold Canadian water.) "You know, she's an executive producer of the show," Atwood tells me, as though bragging about the accomplishments of a favorite grandchild: "The interesting thing about her is that she's been an actor since she was about two. I think if you're looking for her understanding of how all of this works, it comes from a deep background in doing that.

She's been there, done that for a very, very long time." When Moss talks about scenes and plot points, she refers to Offred/June as "I" and "she" interchangeably—not because of some kind of Method preciousness, I don't think, but because she's still very much invested in the inner life and eventual fate of this character.

Our interview is one of her last publicity commitments for the show and it's been a long day already, but Moss is energetic and emphatically, almost comically, kind.

She asks if I'm sure it's okay that I'm buying her a drink (a Moscow Mule with Grey Goose; I have another Campari, heavy on the soda) and she positions my recorder carefully to make sure it's capturing our interview, checking several times to make sure it's still working. We both have dorky Mophie i Phone battery cases and are slightly underdressed for the weather in light jackets and sneakers; hers are Adidas Stan Smiths, which I inform her are a Brooklyn Cool Mom shoe right now.

When she gets cold, she texts someone and her Strand bookstore Virginia Woolf tote bag appears; there's a hoodie in there, along with two yogurts and an apple from the craft services table which she's swiped in lieu of buying groceries. art department to look exactly like the scrawled note from the Handmaid who preceded Offred, which Offred finds in her bedroom's closet.