Amanda Brugel of "The Handmaid's Tale"

If fans of the first season of "The Handmaid's Tale" who had read the original novel felt they could exhale because they knew what was coming, they'll find no such relief this season, which just debuted on Hulu. Deviating from Margaret Atwood's dystopian classic, the story now goes in entirely new directions — including offering more insight into the Waterford's enigmatic Martha, Rita.

Actor Amanda Brugel, who plays Rita, told Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on "Salon Talks" how this season reflects our current reality. "There's a constant undercurrent of the abuse of power," she said. "But not unlike the MeToo movement, there's such a theme of resistance…. I don't know if the movement's leading our journey or it's us going hand in hand with the political climate, but it just seems that we are feeding into each other."

And after working in the industry for years, she appreciates how special "Handmaid's Tale" is. "To be on a program where you're thrust into the zeitgeist, you have an impact on so many people," she said. "People are wearing costumes from the show when they're going to protests. It means that you've connected with people on such a visceral level that is so rare."

Watch the video above to hear how "The Handmaid's Tale" changed Brugel's life long before the series launched, and why she dropped out of the acting game for four years. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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