One thing that is kept very vague about the young and talented actress’ character is her age and many fans are trying to figure just how young Mrs. Esther Keyes is.
Click inside now to see what JustJared found out about Esther Keyes’ age on “The Handmaid’s Tale”…
When it was announced Mckenna had been cast in the role late last year, the character description stated that Esther was “a sharply intelligent, teenaged wife of a much older Commander who rules her farm and household with confidence.”
The description also revealed that she has “a rebellious, subversive streak, and is calm and pious on the outside with turmoil, even insanity, on the inside.”
While it’s not explicitly stated, it’s assumed that Esther is just around 14, which is the same age of Mckenna.
Showrunner Bruce Miller opened up about Esther’s young age and how it impacts June (Elisabeth Moss) going forward.
He notes that his interest in seeing religious communities which feature a big “age difference between the husbands and wives” was mirrored in Margaret Atwood‘s novel.
“That seemed kind of ripe in a way that I liked for the show. You know, it’s openly reprehensible and they’re doing it openly,” he told TheWrap.
He added that after casting Mckenna, she truly brought Esther to life.
Bruce describes Esther as “an adolescent with a gun, you know, a child soldier, possibly dangerous character, and I think, with [Moss’] help and and Colin Watkinson, who directed the first two episodes, you really do feel, it’s just remarkable, how terrifying she can be.”
“She’s this tiny person, you know, physically small, but just the fact that she is unmanageable and so influential. I’m so proud of her performance. And Elisabeth once got to teach her how to smoke, which made Lizzie feel terrible and we’re all going to hell.”
Elisabeth also spoke in the same interview about how June reacts to Mrs. Keyes and “makes the mistake of treating her like a child, because she is a child in her age.”
“I think it’s horrifying,” she added. “But June has also seen a lot of horrifying things. So that part doesn’t faze her as much. But I think she underestimates her at first and thinks that she can just kind of tell her to go away and she’ll be fine. And Mrs. Keyes won’t give up, Mrs. Keyes looks up to June so much and idolizes her. And I think for June, all she’s thinking is, ‘This young lady is only a few years older than my daughter. And this could be my daughter. This could be my daughter. This could be my daughter one day.’ And that is terrifying to her.”
Does Mckenna look familiar to you? Find out where you know her from here!