Attention, fans of The Handmaid’s Tale – a new show based on a Margaret Atwood novel debuts on Netflix this week.
Alias Grace is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks, a 16-year-old maid convicted of two murders in Toronto, Canada in 1843. She served 30 years in prison before being exonerated.
On screen, her story is told as a sweeping mystery spanning oceans and years. Sarah Gadon stars as Grace, playing her from a young teen to a woman in her late 20's.
"They shot based on location which is really helpful because I remain one age at one location,” Gadon said. "I also had an incredible hair and makeup team that helped me shift between the ages, very grateful for that."
Oscar winner Anna Paquin also stars in the twisting, beautifully crafted tale - a period thriller that confronts issues of women's equality and abuse.
Written by Sarah Polley, it's adapted from Atwood’s novel by the same name. The author actually makes an appearance in the show.
"She was also really involved because Sarah tried to option the novel when she was 16, and Margaret was like, 'no,’” Gadon said. “But then they became friends over the years and Margaret read every draft of Sarah's script, she watched everyone's audition tapes, approved everything. She was very heavily involved."
The series was also directed by a woman, Mary Harron. But the stars said having women in charge only mattered in terms of their talents.
"When a project is really well written, and really well directed and really well produced, there's a cohesiveness that exists, and that's not necessarily a gender based thing that happens,” Gadon said. “But I will say that this was the most inclusive set that I've ever been on."
Paquin added, "These were just phenomenally powerful, talented creators and that's just exciting."
Alias Grace premieres on Netflix November 3.