‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Yvonne Strahovski, Superwoman, Went into a Lake in Below Freezing Temperatures While Filming

In The Handmaid’s Tale, Yvonne Strahovski plays the cunning and cold Serena. In real life, however, she’s a total badass and we have proof.

When we sat down with costume designer Natalie Bronfman to discuss her work on the hit Hulu show’s third season, she revealed a behind-the-scenes story that shows Strahovski in a whole new light.

It all started two months after giving birth to her first child when the 37-year-old actress returned to work on The Handmaid’s Tale. As you’ll remember, the season three premiere saw Serena burn down her house and seek refuge at her mother’s place up north. She lost all of her clothes and belongings in the fire, which actually worked out quite well in terms of continuity (pregnancies change bodies, people) and weather.

Yep, The Handmaid’s Tale was shooting in December in Toronto, Canada, so it was colder than cold. And, if that isn’t difficult enough, Strahovski had to get into a lake fully clothed for a scene in episode three.

Bronfman recalled the scene, saying, “Her character, as you know, ended up getting clothing from her next-door neighbor at her mom’s prayer circle. They were actually frumpier, which worked out perfectly well because we had to hide a big wetsuit [and hip waders] underneath her dress for going into the lake.”

But even the wetsuit and hip waders weren’t enough to keep Strahovski warm. Bronfman explained, “She was very courageous. She went into the lake when it was December in Toronto. I think it was minus 20 Celsius. It was definitely below freezing.”

Um, talk about dedication!

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.