Ann Dowd explores Ontario in The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd (left) opposite Elisabeth Moss. Both won Emmy awards last season for their work on The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd may be an eye-gouging Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale, but she’s a pussycat in person.

I spoke with Dowd, 62, while she was in production on Season Two of the series earlier this month. The second season of the Emmy-winning drama premieres this Sunday, April on Bravo in Canada and Hulu in the U.S.

Dowd, who won her own Emmy last September as a Best Supporting Actress, is cheerful, reflective and very positive on the phone. She told me that she truly enjoyed the occasional excursion into small town Southern Ontario while working on the series. Besides Toronto and Hamilton, she shot scenes in Cambridge and St. George. She characterized the latter as “pretty and out in the middle of nowhere.”

That’s when she was awake enough to notice. Those hour-and-a-half jaunts outside Toronto come with a 5:30 a.m. pickup. Dowd says she always tried to pay attention on the drive back.

When I spoke with executive producer Warren Littlefield last June at the Banff International Media Festival, he too praised the GTA as an ideal place to shoot the series. The veteran industry executive singled out the many “looks” the area offered, particularly in Hamilton and Cambridge.

With the dollar still fairly low, one of the prettiest looks was probably in Littlefield’s wallet.

Read more about Dowd and The Handmaid’s Tale here at this feature I wrote for The Canadian Press.

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