HANDMAID’S THE TALE’S JOSEPH ONE FIENNES FELLOW
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