Joseph Fiennes credits The Handmaid’s Tale for “jolting” him into being more aware of women’s rights.
The British actor stars in the new TV show as Commander Fred Waterford, a high-ranking government officer who hires a handmaid (Elisabeth Moss) to bear his and his wife’s child.
Set in a dystopian near-future, the program – based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling novel – shows a world in which women are stripped of their basic human rights, which caused Joseph to think a lot about the world around him.
“The three most important people in my life are my wife and two daughters, and certainly the show has jolted me into a much more alert state of the inequality amongst the sexes,” Joseph, who is married to Swiss model Maria Dolores Dieguez, told U.S. Marie Claire. “By virtue of that, I feel much more switched on to feminism, and what it means and stands for. I want my daughters to live in a world where there is equality and parity of pay. We’ve got a long way to go. I read a statistic that if you’re a Hispanic women it’ll be over 200 years until you achieve parity of pay. So yes, the show has jolted me into a state of consciousness.”
Joseph also noted there are some scary similarities between the fictional U.S. town of Gilead in the show and real life America, especially the imbalance of female presence in American administration.
He’s thrilled to see how women have fought back against the recent changes that have come into place since President Donald Trump came into power at the beginning of the year (17) though and hopes it continues.
“It was wonderful seeing the woman’s marches, and seeing numbers bigger than the president’s inauguration,” Joseph added. “It gives one great heart that there are people present, alert, and awake, and voicing their frustrations. We need more of that.”