The Handmaid’s Tale season 4: Janine star details ‘difficult’ change to flashback scene

The Handmaid's Tale: Trailer for fourth series released

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The Handmaid’s Tale’s third season was criticised early on for its slow pace throughout. However, that issue doesn’t seem to be the case for the fourth season. Madeline Brewer, who portrays handmaiden Janine, recently disclosed details regarding a difficult flashback scene in episode four.

The latest episode, titled Milk, saw June Osborne (played by Elisabeth Moss) and friend Janine (Madeline Brewer) finally escape Gilead to join a group of resistance fighters in Chicago.

Things took a turn for the worse when the pair arrived in Chicago and a group of American soldiers took them in.

However, fans were also given a chance to learn the backstory of one of the show’s most complex characters.

Despite a dangerous escape and preparing for battle against Gilead, it was Janine’s flashback scene in Milk that proved to be her most painful.

The heartwrenching flashback involved Janine preparing to get an abortion due to being unable to afford a baby since she already had son Caleb, who she is unaware was killed years before Gilead.

Actress Brewer spoke about the emotional backstory and explained she was “grateful” she had the chance to do it.

“It was exciting for me. I’ve had Janine in my brain and in my heart for four years now,” she stated.

“To be able to finally see her in the ‘before’ time and play the ‘real’ Janine, to me, was such a treat.”

Brewer also discussed how the flashback scene had changed dramatically from the original with filming restrictions during COVID-19 impacting the decision.

“I was so glad that so much of what I had imagined about her made it into the scripts, but the scripts were way different before Covid,” she added to Digital Spy.

The original storyline featured Janine as a waitress giving viewers the chance to see the character “kind of in her element”.

Janine has changed dramatically throughout the season and her flashback will undoubtedly affect her going forward.

“I was really glad that that was a storyline that we told. We showed people how difficult it is emotionally and quite literally – physically – to go in and do it,” Brewer concluded.

Janine has become pretty much desensitised to the rape and violence in Gilead, even violence towards herself.

Brewer also spoke to TV Line recently about the latest episode, saying that Janine doesn’t feel “morally corrupt” by her actions due to her prior harrowing treatment from Gilead.

“What I’m doing is solidifying our place in this camp. Getting us food. Getting us warm clothes. Getting us a place to sleep,” Brewer continued.

Along with June, audiences have witnessed the full force of Gilead’s brutality on Janine.

As punishment, she had her right eye removed, and she became mentally unstable after the incident.

Things got worse for the character after she gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte, and was forced to give the child to the Putnam family, as per Gilead rules.

June has continually had a contentious relationship with Janine, and the two frequently argue over Janine’s erratic behaviour. Yet, she loves and trusts June despite their past.

The next episode, titled Chicago, will undoubtedly focus on the pair’s continued attempts to flee Gilead’s forces.

The Handmaid’s Tale season four continues Wednesdays on Hulu in the US.

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