The second season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is expanding into new worlds and with that development comes new blood, in the form of actress Sydney Sweeney, Variety has learned exclusively.
Hulu tells Variety Sweeney will recur in the guest starring role of 15-year-old Eden when the series returns in the spring of 2018. Eden is described as “pious and obedient,” someone who represents the next wave of true believers in Gilead. While she has dreams of one day becoming a Commander’s wife, her blind faith in this new world order makes her both naïve and dangerous to those around her. Sweeney will make her first appearance in the fifth episode of the second season.
“In the first season we took things that were mentioned in the book and turned them into whole episodes,” showrunner Bruce Miller says. “The second season, really a lot of the stuff we’re doing is still an extrapolation of that world — the colonies, what life is like for refugees and what happens if a handmaid tries to run away. All of those things from Margaret Atwood’s world are still very much a part of our world.”
At the end of the multiple Emmy-winning series’ first season, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) was carted off from the Waterford household and led to an armed van following the reveal that she was finally pregnant. Where she was taken, by whom and how that affects her will be revealed when the show returns with an increased episode order.
The 13 episodes of Season 2 are “shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead,” according to the show’s official second-season description.
“‘Gilead is within you’ is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia. In Season 2, Offred and all the characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth.”
Sweeney, who previously appeared in “Pretty Little Liars” and “In The Vault,” is repped by Curtis Talent Management and Paradigm. She can also be seen in Netflix’s upcoming series “Everything Sucks,” about a group of high school misfits in 1996 Oregon, and in the HBO series “Sharp Objects” alongside Amy Adams.