Alexis Bledel Exits The Handmaid's Tale Ahead of Fifth Season: 'I Felt I Had to Step Away'

·1 min read
Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock (10051644ew) Alexis Bledel as Ofglen 'The Handmaid's Tale' TV Show Season 2 - 2018 Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock (10051644ew) Alexis Bledel as Ofglen 'The Handmaid's Tale' TV Show Season 2 - 2018 Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock

Alexis Bledel is stepping away from The Handmaid's Tale.

The actress, 40, announced that she will no longer be starring in the hit dystopian Hulu series ahead of the show's forthcoming fifth season.

"After much thought, I felt I had to step away from The Handmaid's Tale at this time," Bledel said in a statement to Variety.

"I am forever grateful to Bruce Miller for writing such truthful and resonant scenes for Emily, and to Hulu, MGM, the cast and crew for their support," she added.

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A representative for Bledel, as well as one for Hulu, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Bledel starred as Emily/Ofglen since The Handmaid's Tale debuted on Hulu back in 2017.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock (10051644at) Alexis Bledel as Ofglen 'The Handmaid's Tale' TV Show Season 2 - 2018 Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.
Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock (10051644at) Alexis Bledel as Ofglen 'The Handmaid's Tale' TV Show Season 2 - 2018 Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship.

George Kraychyk/MGM/Hulu/Kobal/Shutterstock

The series, which is based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, is set in a future world plagued with infertility that assigns handmaids to have babies.

Bledel was previously nominated for an Emmy Award for each season of the series. She scored the outstanding guest actress in a drama series award in 2017.

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Alongside her role on The Handmaid's Tale, Bledel is also best known for playing Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, which ran from 2000 until 2007, and its 2016 follow-up A Year in the Life, as well as for her portrayal of Lena Kaligaris in the 2005 film, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

A release date for the upcoming fifth season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale has not yet been announced.

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