If you’ve watched any of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” then you know that it’s unlikely to showcase the happy sides of relationships (at least in the present timeline, that is). Sure, flashbacks of June and Luke or Emily and Sylvia provide a happy reprieve from the darkness that is the dystopian realm of Gilead and the role of Handmaids. Suffice it to say, “Handmaid’s” doesn’t exactly portray the warm-fuzzy sides of love or marriage what with all the separation, assault, and torture going on.
While the TV show is set in a dystopian world, it’s an entirely different story when the cameras stop rolling. After watching even one episode, many of us need to immediately watch or listen to something happy and upbeat just to get the negativity and fearful programming out of our heads. Well, look no further than the relationships of the real-life people who make up “The Handmaid’s Tale” roster. Keep reading for everything we know about the love lives and the partners of this talented cast.
Samira Wiley found love on set
Ever since the Instagram announcement that revealed “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Samira Wiley tied the knot with Lauren Morelli, our hearts melted at their love story. It turns out they had a rom-com worthy love story and meet-cute when Wiley starred on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” While there, she met and subsequently fell in love with show writer Lauren Morelli.
Wiley told BUST magazine that she was attracted to Morelli’s mind before they ever met in person. Wiley revealed, “I got her script and I was like, ‘This person’s really talented, I can’t wait to meet this person.'” Once they did meet face-to-face, they kept it professional while Wiley acted on the show. During this time, Morelli was “trying to figure out her journey with her own sexuality” and Wiley just “watched her from afar.” She added, “Just seeing [Morelli] literally be the person in charge was really attractive to me.”
After the pair married in 2017, Wiley said to Brides, “I wanted it to be about celebration.” Evidently, her prediction was correct because they walked up the aisle to Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It,” danced the night away in jeans, and ate funfetti cake. She told the bridal magazine, “I honestly just felt like I wanted it to be mine, I wanted it to be something I wanted to dance to, and luckily my wife was on the same page!” Adding to their cute family, the couple welcomed their daughter George in the spring of 2021.
Elisabeth Moss stays quiet about her relationships
While “The Handmaid’s Tale” viewers have watched series heroine June juggle two love interests, actor Elisabeth Moss prefers to keep her off-screen love life more private.
In 2009, Moss was briefly married to comedian Fred Armisen. In 2013, Armisen told Howard Stern that he was “a terrible husband,” and the following year, Moss opened up about the relationship to Vulture. She said, “Looking back, I feel like I was really young … It was extremely traumatic and awful and horrible.” She continued, “At the same time, it turned out for the best. I’m glad that I’m not there. I’m glad that it didn’t happen when I was 50. I’m glad I didn’t have kids. And I got that out of the way. Hopefully. Like, that’s probably not going to happen again.”
Since then, she keeps her romantic relationships under wraps. Though she did admit to having a boyfriend in an April 2019 interview with Marie Claire, Moss wasn’t interested in getting into it. She explained, “I learned you just don’t talk about it. Who really gives a sh*t whether or not I’m dating anyone? I hate to put that importance on it. I cringe a little.” In the interview, she did spill that she and her partner attended sports games in Toronto, where “The Handmaid’s Tale” is filmed.
Yvonne Strahovski dated her husband for a long time
Australian actor Yvonne Strahovski portrays Serena Joy, who has a rocky (to put it lightly) relationship with husband Commander Waterford, on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but off-camera her life is smooth-sailing in comparison. Strahovski privately dated Tim Loden for years before they tied the knot. Loden is also an actor, who’s best known for his recurring role on “Bloodlines” as Vincent. According to Elite Daily, the pair started dating in 2009 just before he booked a guest role on her show “Chuck.”
Strahovski and Loden revealed during a red carpet interview that they got hitched in 2017 during a heatwave in the summer. Strahovski told People,”We ended up jumping in the lake in our suit and gown, it was ridiculously hot. But we had a great time.” During the interview, Loden added: “We all made it through and did some dancing. It was fantastic.”
A year later, Strahovski and Loden welcomed their first child, a son. She confirmed the news on her Instagram, writing: “My heart has melted into a billion pieces a thousand times already. We have been blessed with the greatest joy of our lives, our baby boy. Welcome to the world Peanut, your parents love you beyond measure and you are already my little dream boat.”
Joseph Fiennes' wife hasn't watched The Handmaid's Tale
“The Handmaid’s Tale” villain Commander Waterford is played by actor Joseph Fiennes, who’s been married to model Maria Dolores Dieguez since 2009, and they share two daughters. Fiennes and Dieguez dated for about four years before getting hitched. According to Express, they were quickly married in Tuscany, Italy in between production on his show “FlashForward.” Fiennes told Now Magazine (via Express), “Trying to get married as two foreigners in a very strict Catholic country isn’t easy. I was trying to [organize] it with Maria and also preparing for ‘FlashForward.’ While I was filming episode four or five, I flew back, got married and came straight back to work. It’s been exhilarating, but exhausting.”
While Fiennes plays such an intense character on the Hulu show, he made it quite clear on Good Morning America that he’s far from Fred in real life. He said, “Being in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale‘ … what I come away with is feeling that much more protective and much more alert to what my wife and my two daughters might have to put up with in society. … Now I’m more alert to what a lot of women are up against, and I think it’s really switched me up to that cause.” He also told the U.K.-based newspaper that Dieguez hasn’t watched the show. “I think she wants to keep the image of her husband as the one she has and loves and not to introduce Fred into our relationship,” he said.
Max Minghella has been spotted with Elle Fanning
British actor Max Minghella plays Nick and, let’s be real, he’s a heartthrob. Between Minghella’s swoon-worthy accent, his aesthetically pleasing face, and his impressive resume of film and TV credits, it’s somewhat obvious that he’d be taken. While he’s tight-lipped about his love life, Minghella has been spotted cozying up to actor Elle Fanning for several years.
The reported couple presumably met on the set of his directorial debut, the indie flick “Teen Spirit,“ which Fanning starred in. While Minghella and Fanning have played coy about the dating rumors, paparazzi have spotted them around the globe, holding hands or hugging, according to snaps obtained by the Daily Mail. They even attended the 2019 Met Gala together, posing for the cameras at the camp-themed party (pictured above).
In 2019, Fanning did touch on their relationship (er, friendship?) to Entertainment Tonight while promoting the “Teen Spirit.” She said, “I mean, we just really love working together. That was, like, very special, and he’s such a good friend. … I’ll do any movie that he wants me to do.” Minghella has also praised her work and acting skills, yet neither of them have officially revealed if they are dating.
Before being linked to the younger Fanning sister, it was rumored that Minghella dated Bono’s daughter Eve Hewson and actor Kate Mara, according to Elle Australia.
Alexis Bledel clicked with her Mad Men costar
On “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Alexis Bledel portrays June’s Handmaid partner Emily before June helps her escape to Canada to reunite with her family. In real life, Bledel fell for a different costar. After appearing as Beth Dawes on “Mad Men,” she met her now-husband Vincent Kartheiser. In case you don’t remember, Kartheiser’s Pete Campbell had an affair with Beth during Season 5. However, nothing happened between the pair of actors while they were on the show together. He told Vulture, “We were completely professional. We never saw each other out. … it was just work.”
People confirmed the couple was engaged in 2013. When Kartheiser was ready to pop the question, he enlisted costars Elisabeth Moss and Jessica Paré to practice. Paré recalled to People, “It was purely comedic but he was giving [Elisabeth] and I a facetious rendition of his planned proposal. We were like, ‘Great! Let’s do this one without cursing and without yelling!'” Moss even told People that “They are such a yin and yang. I’ve known Vinny for 12 years and Alexis is just the sweetest.”
The pair were married in 2014 before welcoming a son in 2015. The following year, fellow “Gilmore Girls” alum Scott Patterson told Glamour that Bledel was doing well in her new life. “She’s really blossomed as a woman and now she’s a proud new mother and married and happy,” he said. “We’re comparing notes because my son is about a year and a half older than her young son.” Bledel was previously linked to ‘Gilmore’ costar Milo Ventimiglia.
Ann Dowd's family is her 'first priority'
Ann Dowd plays one of “The Handmaid’s Tale” villains: the ever-pious Aunt Lydia who’s not afraid to punish her girls for breaking Gileadean rules. While Dowd often plays tough characters on screen, she is far from cruel in real life. Heck, GQ went so far as to call her “the nicest person with the darkest roles.”
Outside of being an actor, one of her favorite roles is wife and mother. Dowd has been married to actor Lawrence Arancio for more than 35 years. Together, they have three children: Liam, Emily, and Trust, according to the aforementioned GQ profile. She told Closer Weekly, “I’m of course most proud of my family.”
As a working actor, she’s often on the road or out of town filming, but she always remembers that her family is her “first priority,” she told Vox in a podcast interview. Dowd explained, “My little boy is 12, and he wants his mother at home. ‘Handmaid’s’ is in Toronto … and I’ve got to find a way to get right back, because I’m responsible for him. That’s my first priority, so that’s very difficult to balance that, but to step away from that singular focus on ‘I must spend all my time with the work.’ I don’t think [that mentality] is productive.”
Wait, Madeline Brewer was seen out with who?
Madeline Brewer, who plays Janine on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” has been linked to some other Hollywood stars. Before he married Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas was spotted out at a restaurant with Brewer… and naturally, that sparked a great deal of speculation. However, when ET asked Brewer about what might be brewing, she insisted that her night out with the JoBro was nothing more than a friendly dinner.
It looks like Brewer has had a thing with another actor for quite a while. In 2017, Cosmopolitan noted that she was “living in her first real apartment with her first roommate-boyfriend (actor Spencer Neville).” The outlet also pointed out that the two connected while working on 2016’s “The Deleted.” In 2019, JustJared.com reported Brewer, who was promoting “Hustlers” at the time, brought the “Ozark” actor along to an event at the Toronto International Film Festival. That January, she let her Instagram followers know she rang in the New Year with Neville.
As for their current relationship status? There isn’t a ton of information about them, but in 2021, JustJaredJr.com reported they both attended the “Panic” premiere.
Amanda Brugel quarantined with her beau
Actor Amanda Brugel portrays former Martha Rita on “The Handmaid’s Tale.” While we’ve yet to find out any details about the character’s romantic relationships on the show, that’s not the case for the real-life counterpart. Brugel is currently in a relationship with filmmaker and actor Aidan Shipley. While talking to Fashion Magazine in June 2020, she shared that her boyfriend Shipley was quarantining at her home with her and her two sons, Phoenix and Jude.
Brugel, who shares custody of her kids with ex Marcel Lewis, revealed her family’s new routine during the 2020 pandemic. In her Fashion Magazine interview, she explains that she and Shipley adapted well to homeschooling: “My partner has been quarantining with us, so today, he works with Jude in the dining room and I cover Phoenix. … This morning we soared through ‘sh’ words, so Aidan just sprinted over to our work zone, grabbed Phoenix by his ankles and swung him towards the ceiling ten times to celebrate.” She also mentioned that she enjoys snuggling up with him on the couch at night.
For further evidence of their loved-up relationship, you can check out Instagram. To celebrate her birthday, Shipley posted photos of the two of them and the caption: “Exploring the world with you has been the highlight of my life. Witnessing you handle both adversity and successes with the same grace, kindness and determination has been nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for bringing me into your world.”
Bradley Whitford fell for his coworker
Many actors on “The Handmaid’s Tale” have met their current partners on a previous show that they both worked on, including Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, and Yvonne Strathovski. Bradley Whitford (who plays Commander Lawrence) is another member of this club. Whitford clicked with now-wife Amy Landecker on the set of “Transparent,” and the rest is history. “I say to Jill [Soloway], ‘You gave me the best role of my life and you gave me the best boyfriend of my life,” Landecker told People in 2016. “So thank you very much!'” Landecker also has a brief role on “Handmaid’s” as Mrs. McKenzie, the adoptive mother of June’s daughter Hannah.
The former “West Wing” actor started dating Landecker in 2015 and they were hitched in the summer of 2019. Whitford teased their Gileadean connection while sharing their wedding announcement on Twitter: “In a shocking, totally unearned plot twist, Commander Lawrence married Mrs. McKenzie today in Santa Barbara. The shark may have been jumped, but the couple is thrilled.”
While they were thrilled on their wedding day, it wasn’t always love at first sight, Landecker revealed to People. She told the magazine, “I knew Bradley for a year before we dated and I kind of thought that he seemed like a cocky actor boy and I wasn’t really that interested.”
Sydney Sweeney hasn't opened up about her love life
After breakout roles on “Euphoria,” “Sharp Objects,” and as Nick’s teen bride Eden on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Sydney Sweeney has become a big hit with the Gen Z crowd. And so, many of her fans are curious to know who she’s dating. While Sweeney’s stayed mum about her relationship status, several reports suggest she may be linked to Jonathan Davino. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Davino is a restauranteur and the heir to the now-closed Chicago-based pizza company Pompei. In 2013, he opened a Pompei Xpress eatery in the city with his father, and they also owned a Mista Pizza restaurant next door.
In terms of their rumored relationship, various sources have claimed she’s dated Davino for several years. While they haven’t confirmed anything publicly, the two were photographed at an InStyle and Kate Spade event in L.A., and according to TheThings, they were spotted out together at TAO in Chicago. And in 2020, JustJared.com shared some pics of the two canoodling during a trip to Hawaii.
Sam Jaeger shares a life with his 'amazing wife'
Sam Jaeger has been one of our favorite TV dads ever since his turn as Joel Graham on NBC’s “Parenthood” opposite Erika Christensen. On “The Handmaid’s Tale,” he’s the level-headed representative of the U.S. government trying to take down Gilead from the Canadian headquarters.
In real life, Sam Jaeger has been married to actor Amber Jaeger since 2007 and they have three kids together: Calvin, Redford, August, according to ET. He also has an older step-daughter, Aubrey, from Amber’s previous relationship. He raved about Amber to SFGate, calling her “an amazing wife.”
While Sam’s best known for his roles on “Parenthood” or “Handmaid’s,” Amber’s appeared in “Take Me Home,” “Solitary,” and “After We Leave.” The couple co-starred in “Take Me Home” early into their marriage, and it sounds like the experience definitely put their bond to the test. “‘Take Me Home’ should have gotten us divorced,” Sam told HuffPost. “It was certainly not easy to make it, driving across the continent with seven smelly guys in an RV, and the fact that she still came away with a brilliant performance is amazing. Thankfully our marriage came out okay. We had a lot of stressful times on the road and I have to say it was a pretty big accomplishment for a couple who had been married for less than a year.”
Ever Carradine has been in a relationship for years
Ever Carradine appeared on the first couple seasons of “The Handmaid’s Tale” as Naomi Putnam, the tough-as-nails wife who hopes for a healthy baby girl by way of Janine. Carradine’s character doesn’t have the best marriage; her Commander husband had an affair with the curly-haired Handmaid and discussed leaving Naomi for Janine with their daughter Angela. Yet, in real life, her relationship and marriage seems to be doing much better than her on-screen counterpart.
In reality, the member of the legendary Carradine dynasty has been married to Coby Brown since 2005, according to a celebratory anniversary message he posted on Instagram in 2020. He captioned the throwback wedding photo: “Happy 15 to us! Love you … thanks for making this life so fun, even in a pandemic. Cheers!”
Brown is a composer and musician. He and Carradine share two kids, a son and a daughter.
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