• The cast of 'The Handmaid’s Tale': there’s more where they came from. (SBS)Source: SBS
Before they starred in 'The Handmaid’s Tale', the stellar cast was kicking goals in these eclectic productions.
By
Jim Mitchell

13 Jul 2017 - 2:36 PM  UPDATED 13 Jul 2017 - 2:36 PM

A cracking mystery, a period epic, a nail-biting thriller and a quirky noir. Head to SBS On Demand to see the talented stars of The Handmaid’s Tale in a whole new light.

 

Max Minghella: Agora

There’s nothing wrong with sex-and-sandal epics, but Agora places intellect above all else in this 4th century Egypt-set drama from acclaimed writer/director Alejandro Amenábar (The Others, Open Your Eyes, the Oscar winning The Sea Inside).

During religious warring in Roman Empire-ruled Alexandria, pioneering astronomer, mathematician, philosopher and atheist Hypatia (Rachel Weisz) attempts to save the priceless artefacts of the city’s famous library. She's also caught in a love triangle with Orestes (Oscar Isaac) and her slave Davus (Max Minghella, brooding chauffeur Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale), who is torn between his love for Hypatia and the pull of Christianity.

Featuring superb performances from the cast’s key trio, Agora is a mystical, sumptuous and epic journey into an intriguing era of history.

 

Ann Dowd: Compliance

Ann Dowd has proved to be one of the best and most prolific character actors around (witness her chilling turns as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale and as cult leader Patti in The Leftovers).

In Compliance, she plays dutiful fast food restaurant manager Sandra, who receives a call from a policeman informing her that employee Becky (a brave performance from The Good Wife's Dreama Walker) has stolen from a customer. As Sandra is drawn into the ensuing investigation, it becomes a simmering exercise in paranoia and unspeakable mind games in this disturbing and thought-provoking indie thriller, which is based on a shocking true story. Riveting and visceral, this is a movie experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

 

Alexis Bledel: Girl Walks Into a Bar

From writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez (Judas Kiss, Snakes on a Plane, Gothika), this groundbreaking comedy noir was made specifically for YouTube, and comes with the production values of a top-notch indie and a stellar cast.

Carla Gugino stars as Francine Driver, a former detective sniffing out a dentist (Zachary Quinto) who is plotting to have his wife killed. In her enquiries across LA’s atmospheric bars, Francine crosses paths with a Mob-affiliated card shark (Danny DeVito), a mind-reading pole dancer (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a young woman with a comic fixation on death (Alexis Bledel, a world away from her tortured The Handmaid’s Tale character, Ofglen) and the hostess of a nudist ping-pong club (Rosario Dawson).

Sharp, sexy and original, this is one case you’ll want to follow.

 

O-T Fagbenle: The Five

Get set for a gripping mystery with this 10-part drama. A group of friends are rocked to the core when the DNA of Jesse, who disappeared 20 years earlier as a boy, is found at a crime scene. Now adults, Jesse’s brother, Mark (Tom Cullen, Downton Abbey), and childhood friends Pru (Sarah Solemani, Bridget Jones's Baby), Slade (Lee Ingleby, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) and detective Danny (O-T Fagbenle, who plays Luke, desperate husband of Elisabeth Moss’ June/Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale) must unravel the truth. Twists, turns and secrets are revealed in this intriguing mystery from bestselling author Harlan Coben.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale is available to stream at SBS On Demand. Watch the first episode here:

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