Oprah’s surprise Handmaid’s Tale cameo
IF you were tasked with casting someone in the role of the soothing yet inspiring voice of strong American ideals and values, who would you pick?
Obviously the correct answer is Oprah Winfrey, and that's exactly what showrunners over at the Emmy-winning The Handmaid's Tale thought too. Yep, Oprah Winfrey has a cameo appearance in this week's Tale, an episode titled "Holly" - airing tonight on SBS and up on SBS On Demand this evening too.
I'll keep things as spoiler-free as possible, but obviously if you want to remain totally oblivious before watching the latest episode, just know that Oprah is involved and pay close attention. Everyone else, let's get into it!
The Oprah cameo comes about 10 minutes into "Holly," when June (Elisabeth Moss) gets behind the wheel of a car and turns the keys. The radio crackles to life, and a voice cuts through the static and rings in the frantic June's ears. It's Oprah's voice.
Or, rather, it's the voice of Radio Free America, "broadcasting from somewhere in the Great White North." Whether or not the literal Oprah Winfrey has kept on working in the apocalyptic nightmare that is The Handmaid's Tale, that remains to be seen. But this is, at least, Oprah's voice.
The DJ voiced by Winfrey gives a news update about the sanctions levelled against Gilead and Canada taking in more refugees from the nation. And then the DJ gets back to doing what DJ's do: playing music.
"Now, a tune to remind everyone who's listening American patriot or Gilead traitor: we are still here. Stars and stripes forever, baby." Cue Bruce Springsteen's Hungry Heart.
This has gotta be a big deal for star Elisabeth Moss, who told The Hollywood Reporter about an Oprah-induced freak-out moment she had earlier this year, during THR's actress roundtable.
"She was in the dressing room next to me and she kept popping back into the room to ask questions about the show or to make comments or ask what was coming up for a specific character," said Moss.
"Then she'd leave and I'd close the door and have a silent freak-out moment, just screaming silently, that Oprah Winfrey even knew what the show was and then she would pop back up with more questions."
It turns out Winfrey's been a fan of The Handmaid's Tale for a while, and now she's found herself cast as the voice of American inspiration.
Showrunner Bruce Miller told Decider about how the cameo came to be. "We'd heard Oprah was a fan of the show, and had a story idea, and thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if … So we asked and she said yes, and it was a lovely, easy process," said Miller.
"The radio segment she recorded was inspired by the free radio of the Allies from WW2. It was an absolute honour to have Oprah featured on the show, and especially thrilling as she was the one who presented us with the Emmy last year."
No one could have played it better.
This story originally appeared on Decider and is republished here with permission.