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The Handmaid's Tale Breakout Star Ashleigh LaThrop Is Just Getting Started

Mat Gallagher | July 16, 2019 | People

A Chicago native keeps getting cast in hit after hit.


If you haven’t heard the name Ashleigh LaThrop yet, don’t change the channel: The Chicago-born actress will soon be all over your TV screen with roles on The 100, in the new season of the dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale and, later on, a lead in Amazon’s new series Utopia alongside John Cusack and a handful of other Chicagoans.

LaThrop studied at the University of Illinois and spent a summer in Steppenwolf’s education program before taking to the stage. “Maybe I’m biased, but I think Chicago has one of the best theater scenes in the country,” she says. Her first big movie role came in 2017, playing Hannah in Fifty Shades Darker, returning in 2018 for Fifty Shades Freed. You may also have spotted her in the Golden Globe- and SAG award-winning The Kominsky Method on Netflix.

The roles and projects seem to get ever juicier. In the next season of The Handmaid’s Tale, the arc of LaThrop’s character, Ofmatthew, takes a dark turn. “She is genuinely devoted to Gilead,” LaThrop says, “which is something that we haven’t seen before—and which causes a lot of issues.” The writing of Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl and Sharp Objects) clinched the Utopia deal for her. “I read the script and thought it was one of the best I had ever read,” she says.

Though now living in L.A., LaThrop gets back to Chicago often, to catch up with all 10 of her siblings—before getting back on the road to being the next big thing.


Photography by: kathryn page @ Exclusive Artists