Actress Madeline Brewer breaks binge-watchers’ hearts as the one-eyed Janine (aka Ofwarren) on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, returning this month for its second season. In her free time, this Jersey girl finds her happy on the ukulele, in the woods, and inside her kitchen.
Lives in: Los Angeles.
You know her from: Black Mirror (2016), Hemlock Grove (2014–2015), and Orange Is the New Black (2013).
What do you do in your downtime? “Play the ukulele. When I was in Toronto shooting Hemlock Grove, I’d spend a couple of hours in the makeup trailer every day because my character had all these tattoos. I was telling one of the artists how bored I was—I didn’t really know anybody—and he said, “Pick up a ukulele and start playing. They’re 30 bucks for a cheap one.” And I did! I have an all-black Mahalo ukulele—it’s like my baby. It has brought me so much peace and comfort.”
Teach us? “I just look up a song online and learn the chords...I can’t play anything very seamlessly.”
Latest cover? “'Ivy' by Frank Ocean. I’ve been on a Frank Ocean kick recently.”
Happy place? “Ceres Park, near my hometown in Pitman, New Jersey. It’s so beautiful. Every time I’m home, I’ll text my best friend, 'Do you want to walk in the woods today?' We’ve been there in the snow, we go in the spring, we’ve been on the hottest, most humid days of the year. We’re both tree huggers. We stop and look at every mushroom on the ground.”
On your bucket list? “To speak French fluently. I had an amazing French teacher in high school—it was the one class that I enjoyed. And I studied opera for 11 years, so I did a lot of singing in French.”
At home? “I like the exactness of baking. I’m not someone who’s like, 'I’ll just throw a bunch of stuff together. This is gonna taste delicious.' I am a rule follower: I really like the measuring. It’s completely tedious, but I love that. It’s calming. And I am a total sweetaholic.”
This story originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.