NW - - The Big Turn On -

He may be “dark, creepy and com­pli­cated” in his role as Fred, The Com­man­der in The Hand­maid’s Tale, but IRL Joseph

Fiennes, 47, who plays the “owner” of hand­maid Of­fred ( Elis­a­beth Moss), is a to­tal good guy! See for your­self...

The Com­man­der’s be­hind the regime that re­sulted in fer­tile women becoming hand­maids. Does he feel bad?

In his world and in his mind, it’s all about the bet­ter­ment of mankind. Also, he’s landed in a po­si­tion and place that’s im­pos­si­ble to back out of.

You have to do some hor­ri­ble things. How do you get into that mind­set?

I am gen­uinely af­fected by some of the things we have to do while act­ing – pri­mar­ily the cer­e­mony scene [where the com­man­der at­tempts to cre­ate a child with his hand­maid, as she lays in be­tween his wife’s legs].

That is par­tic­u­larly unsettling!

It’s ab­hor­rent and bru­tal! Power has a way of cor­rupt­ing and it’s turned the com­man­der into a pa­tri­ar­chal preda­tor.

Your char­ac­ter is older in the book than the show. Why make that change?

So much is about fer­til­ity in Gilead. The Com­man­der would en­joy a job pro­mo­tion should they have a child – as well as bask­ing in the so­cial glory. Gilead stands and sur­vives on col­lect­ing fer­tile women, and so the idea that two prime mem­bers and ar­chi­tects of Gilead in their prime could be bar­ren is pow­er­ful. To be of fer­tile age and be un­able to have chil­dren adds com­plex­ity.

Ahh, makes sense! BTW, Fred is sur­pris­ingly af­fec­tion­ate with his wife!

I love the idea that Fred still shows love and af­fec­tion for Ser­ena, and al­though that love has di­min­ished, there are still mo­ments of re­flec­tion and ten­der­ness to­wards her.

Do you think Ser­ena’s giv­ing up power for af­fec­tion?

Gilead has taken her power and voice, and Fred stood by while it hap­pened. I think it’s right to say that Fred is some­what in­se­cure about Ser­ena be­ing a true vi­sion­ary, but it was this vi­sion­ary he fell in love with. The Hand­maid’s Tale airs 8.35pm Thurs­daysy on SBS

Aussie ac­tress Yvonne Stra­hovski stars as Ser­ena

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