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Canadian Actress Kim DeLonghi captivates in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Photo by Mark Maryanovich

Every time Kim DeLonghi hears a director say “cut” she feels a vast sense of achievement. The amount of rehearsing and preparation that goes into every scene is all worth it when she hears that word, knowing she did her job to the best of her ability, and it is a job she truly loves. When she then sees the final product, often months after filming, it is a whole new sense of euphoria, and she knows she is doing exactly what she was meant to.

“Acting, and filmmaking in general, is a very social job. I love the interactions with people from the start of the audition process, to the hair and makeup, wardrobe, and finally on set filming. There is no aspect that I dislike. The people involved are all focused on the same thing and that is for you and the final product to look good on screen. Every step of the way is an artform and a show of expression,” she said.

DeLonghi has an impressive resume, but the highlight of this sought-after actress’ career came last year when she was in the award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale. One of the most popular and talked-about shows on TV, The Handmaid’s Tale is based on Margaret Atwood’s best-selling novel of the same name and takes place in a dystopian future where a religion-based autocracy has taken over most of the United States, renaming the country Gilead. In this country women are second-class citizens. Anyone trying to escape is punished. One such person is June, who is captured while trying to escape with her husband and child and is sentenced to be a handmaid, bearing children for childless government officials. As a handmaid, June is renamed Offred. It is her story.

“The story is so dramatic and riveting. Most people watching are sitting at the edge of their seats to find out how the plot is going to unfold. The characters in all the scenes are evoking so much emotion. I think that is what makes good television or film, how much emotion can be evoked from the person. If the viewer finds themselves thinking about it after, then the writer and director have done a good job. This show does just that. Everyone is talking about all the dramatic scenes and the crazy things that happen in this society,” said DeLonghi. “What really hits home is the fact that this society isn’t too far off from a society that could be born here and now. Nothing is unreal and all of this could happen; that is why it scares everyone who watches it.”

DeLonghi was thrilled to work alongside the top tier cast of Elizabeth Moss, Max Minghella, Yvonne Strahvoski, Joseph Fiennes and Amanda Brugel, who have all been recognized internationally for their work on the show. Everyone on set was at the top of their game, from makeup to wardrobe to the cameramen, and DeLonghi was inspired just being there.

DeLonghi was in the twelfth episode of the show’s second season, titled Postpartum. In the episode, Isaac and Eden fall in love in a world that doesn’t allow them to do so. They are summoned in front of a public gathering to refute their love. They decide against that and instead are put to their death by drowning them in a pool with weights around their legs.

DeLonghi played the heartbreaking role of Isaac’s mother in this episode, where she had to witness her son dying. It was a very dramatic scene. When she saw her character’s son come on to set and he walked to his death spot, she imagined it was one of her own sons. She kept this in mind the entire time, and when Isaac was pushed into the water, DeLonghi let out a horrible cry as though one of her own sons had died. It was a very horrific and draining scene for DeLonghi that took 14 hours to shoot, a long time to be that emotional, but DeLonghi’s performance is both honest and captivating, showing what an extraordinary actress she is.

The Handmaid’s Tale is available to stream on Hulu and Crave. Be sure to watch Postpartum.

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