Samira Wiley discusses the relevance of 'The Handmaid's Tale' and why Poussey Washington 'is never going to die'

Samira Wiley's heard it before: "The Handmaid's Tale," Hulu's first true breakout series, came at the perfect time: Despite being based on a book from 1985, the story's central themes could not be more timely during the Trump era.

But what does Wiley think about her latest project's ability to connect with viewers on such a deep level?

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"We hear it so much about our show," Wiley told AOL Entertainment at the American Express Pay It/Plan It event in New York this week. "How timely and relevant it is to the time that we’re living in. It hit especially people in my generation so profoundly because most of the people my age just had the Obama era, and we’re too young to really remember things before that, so people are so shocked right now."

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Samira Wiley launches American Express' new Pay It/Plan It feature at an event in New York City.

(Credit: Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Samira Wiley attends 'Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television' premiere during Tribeca TV Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on September 23, 2017 in New York City (Photo by Chance Yeh/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Actor Samira Wiley attends the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Elizabeth Moss and Samira Wiley attend Hulu's 2017 Emmy After Party at Otium on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Hulu)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Samira Wiley and wife Lauren Morelli attend Variety and Women In Film's 2017 pre-Emmy celebration at Gracias Madre on September 15, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Samira Wiley (L) and Lauren Morelli attend Glamour x Tory Burch Women To Watch Lunch on September 15, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Glamour x Tory Burch)
Samira Wiley attends the Hollywood Reporter and SAG AFRA 2017 Emmy Nominees Night party at the Jean-Georges at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, on September 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CHRIS DELMAS (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Actress Samira Wiley arrives for the Television Academy Celebrates Nominees For Outstanding Casting at Montage Beverly Hills on September 7, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actress Samira Wiley attends 'The Handmaid's Tale' FYC event at DGA Theater on August 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 05: Writer Lauren Morelli (L) and actor Samira Wiley at the 33rd Annual Television Critics Association Awards during the 2017 Summer TCA Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 5, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 04: Actor Samira Wiley of 'Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*' speaks onstage during the YouTube Red Originals Presentation portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 4, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 28: Actress Samira Wiley arrives at Chloe Arnold's Syncopated Ladies LA concert premiere at John Anson Ford Amphitheatre on July 28, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: Actress Samira Wiley attends the premiere of 'Cars 3' at Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 24: Samira Wiley attends the 38th College Television Awards at Wolf Theatre on May 24, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 07: Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli attend the Netflix FYSEE Kick-Off event at Netflix FYSee Space on May 7, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 05: Actress Samira Wiley arrives at Netflix's 'Orange Is The New Black' For Your Consideration Event at the Saban Media Center on May 5, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Samira Wiley attends 2017 Hulu Upfront on May 3, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 25: Writer Lauren Morelli (L) and actor Samira Wiley attend the after party for the premiere of Hulu's 'The Handmaid's Tale' on April 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Actress Samira Wiley attends a VIP screening of the Original Series 'The Handmaid's Tale' presented by Hulu at The Wing on April 22, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Hulu)
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"Having a show to consume like 'The Handmaid’s Tale' opens the doors for discussion and people just need that right now," she continued to tell us of the series, which walked away with 8 Emmys at last month's ceremony, including Outstanding Drama Series.

Wiley was part of another popular show that hit on current events before her stint on "Handmaid's": Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," on which she played Poussey Washington for four seasons before her character was killed in a heartbreaking moment of gross police misconduct. The 30-year-old actress looks back on her time on "Orange" fondly, and not just because she met her wife, writer Lauren Morelli, because of it.

"I’ve kept so many things with me from Poussey," she told us with a smile. "I talk about her like she’s a real person, because to me she is. She’s somebody that’s never going to die, and it's not just her that I take from the show, but I have lifelong friendships from 'Orange,' too."

"I just want to be able to go back and visit whenever I want to!" she added.

We're sure she has an open invitation.

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