Actress Mckenna Grace, who stars in Hulu’s dystopian series The Handmaid’s Tale, says she doesn’t mind if people feel “uncomfortable” with her 14-year-old character who gets married off to an older man and is raped, because “maybe that will make you want to do something for actual girls who are going through this.”
Grace — whose character, Esther Keyes, is joining the show’s fourth season — said she thinks it’s important that someone as young as herself plays a character who has been “raped and abused and sold off.”
In the show, Grace’s character Esther is forced to a marry a man fives times her age, and when her husband is unable to impregnate Esther, he brings in other men to routinely rape her, reports Elle.
“It’s funny because I’ll make a joke that, ‘Yeah, I’m doing this right now. I got a husband or something.’ And people are like, ‘How old is your character?’ I’m like, ’14.’ And they’re like, ‘What? That doesn’t make sense,'” Grace said in an interview with Elle.
“But it meant a lot that I got to actually play the age Mrs. Keyes is,” the actress added. “I did think it was important for an actual 14-year-old to play the role, especially since this 14-year-old is being raped and abused and sold off — all of these things that are happening to 14-year-olds every single day.”
Grace added that “if it makes people upset or uncomfortable that an actual 14-year-old is having to talk about how she was raped and it’s acting, then maybe that will make you want to do something for actual girls who are going through this.”
During the interview, Grace said her co-star Elisabeth Moss has been a big help when it comes to some of the more challenging scenes on the show.
The Handmaid’s Tale, in spired by author Margaret Atwood, has helped push left-wing politics in the past.
In 2019, cast members from The Handmaid’s Tale filmed a PSA for Planned Parenthood to promote abortion. That same year, one of the show’s cast members, Ann Dowd, called the pro-life laws being enacted in several states “disgusting,” and in an ironic move, told people who believe in the sanctity of life to “go to church and ask for forgiveness.”
Moss has also proclaimed that America, under President Donald Trump, may have “already lost” the principles on which the country was founded.