Entertainment TV Alexis Bledel Exits 'The Handmaid's Tale' Ahead of Fifth Season: 'I Felt I Had to Step Away' Alexis Bledel starred as Emily/Ofglen since The Handmaid's Tale debuted on Hulu back in 2017 By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is a Staff Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 28, 2022 12:06 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: 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. The Handmaid's Tale Sets Emmys Record for Most Losses in a Single Year 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. 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. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 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.