handmaids tale season 4

Handmaid's Tale writer reveals challenges of filming in Toronto during the pandemic

Filming for the highly-anticipated fourth season of The Handmaid's Tale is set to officially wrap in Toronto within the next month or two, and Hulu announced Friday that the first episode will premiere on April 28. 

But materializing the new season has not been without its challenges, and showrunner Bruce Miller shared some of those obstacles during a virtual TCA panel for the show on Thursday.

"Honestly the biggest change is it was difficult to get our cast into Canada to shoot," he said.

The Handmaid's Tale has filmed in Toronto since the show's very first season, but border restrictions and mandatory quarantines brought on by the pandemic made doing so far more challenging this time around. 

"We had to keep people out of episodes simply because they didn't have enough time in their schedule," Miller said of the impact these policies had on production.

"I mean, people are very kind to come up and fly for a day's worth of work in Canada from anywhere. So many of our cast members like Clea DuVall, these people who work very hard on other shows. So that was the biggest change."

But COVID-19 restrictions impacted more than just travel, Miller explained.

"A ton of things had to be changed in the show," he said. "Just the practical realities of producing and making the show on the ground were very, very difficult."

Elements such as how many people could be in one scene at the same time and where in Ontario they could film were also impacted, and Miller said this forced the team to constantly adapt to the situation and their surroundings.

"We reduced the number of people in scenes and locations, like where we decided to shoot was a very big question because sometimes we couldn't get things," he said. 

"Sometimes we had five people in front of the camera, sometimes we could have 20 people in front of the camera. So we were constantly, the entire season, making adjustments to the script and the story."

Cast and crew members were spotted in numerous spots around the GTA while filming this winter, and Miller recently teased that the new season is set to be the most exciting yet. 

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