“The Handmaid’s Tale” casts Cherry Jones in key role for season 2

Season two of The Handmaid’s Tale will be introducing a new character!

EW has confirmed that actress Cherry Jones has been cast to play June’s (Elisabeth Moss) mother.

Holly will be introduced to viewers in episode of the second season and is described by Hulu as “an outspoken feminist and a judgmental but loving mother to June.” Whether she’ll be seen in flashbacks or the show’s dystopian present-day is still unknown.

There’s no doubt Jone’s casting is integral to the onscreen adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, so much so that incorporating the character into the series was in the works since the first season. According to show runner Bruce Miller, for such an impactful character, it’s all about timing.

“We’ve been thinking about her a lot. June’s mother is a big character in the book and representative of an interesting kind of feminism that was seemingly more of that time,” Miller told The Hollywood Reporter. “June’s memories of her mother and her activism are very vibrant in the book, so we’ve been talking about her from day one of season one, and it just didn’t seem like enough time to do her justice. In season two, we mention her a little bit, but we just don’t want to short-shrift her story. It’s a story we want to tell — she was one of the most memorable characters.”

Moss told THR “she’s a terrific literary character who’s now going to come to life for the first time, and so it was important to me who that was. I was obsessed with it for weeks and bothering everybody about it — way before anybody cared to talk about it. Cherry was my fantasy choice. We sent her the script, she wrote a lovely email back and she said yes almost immediately.”

The Handmaid’s Tale returns on Wednesday, April 25.