From ‘Gilmore Girls’ to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’! Alexis Bledel’s Total Transformation Over the Years

Whether you were a fan of Gilmore Girls or not, there’s a solid chance you’ve seen Alexis Bledel‘s work. After all, the Texas native got her start in Hollywood in the late ’90s — and her career has been going strong ever since!

Nowadays, Alexis is best known for playing Emily Malek on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Given the nature of the series, the role was a huge departure from Alexis’ previous, more light-hearted work. However, she’s learned to separate the character from her day-to-day life.

“I’m able to shake it off, only because it’s so far removed from my reality, and the story is so precisely outlined, in terms of what Emily is experiencing. The way Bruce Miller writes it and can explain it to me, all the pieces fit in their place,” Alexis explained during a 2018 interview with Deadline.

“Just as Emily would try to figure them out, he has them lined up for me, so that makes it pretty doable,” she continued. “It’s also limited, the time that I spend actually in character. It’s really like a couple days a month; it’s not an extended period of time. If I had to do that, I think I would be more challenged by the darkness of it.”

*Warning: spoilers ahead.* During season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale, Emily finds herself working in the Colonies, which are essentially radioactive labor camps. As a result, her appearance grows more and more haggard.

“The makeup products that I decided on were psoriasis and yellow pus for the grey broken skin look and tones, and to create the pus oozing out of various skin openings,” makeup designer Burton LeBlanc explained in a 2019 interview with The Credit. “I used sunburn for the tops of their forehead, ears and nose. I used dropper dirt for their nails, and dry lip for a cracked effect look on their mouths, and tooth stain for their teeth.”

Despite leaving the Colonies, Emily’s appearance in season 4 of The Handmaid’s Tale, which premiered in April 2021, still makes her look significantly older than Alexis in real life. Again, that’s just the power of makeup!

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of Alexis Bledel’s total transformation over the years.