Joseph Fiennes fears Handmaid’s Tale role will get him punched

Joseph Fiennes fears his role as an evil misogynist in The Handmaid’s Tale will cost him parts and get him punched on the street.
The British actor plays Commander Fred Waterford in the hit Hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, a high-ranking government official in a brutal theocratic regime, which allocates ‘handmaids’ as fertile sex slaves to its leaders.
Joseph fears he may have played the role too well though, as he worries he might get attacked on the street for Fred’s mistreatment of women.
“I’ll only get misogynist roles for ages,” he tells The Guardian. “I’m waiting for someone to slap or punch me in the street. I’m waiting for someone to be really disturbed by Fred because I’m really disturbed by him.”
The series, which stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, Fred and his wife Serena Joy’s handmaid, has become a hit due to parallels with the political climate in the U.S. and accusations of sexism and sexual misconduct against U.S. President Donald Trump, and his fellow Republican politicians.
Joseph, 49, doesn’t like talking too much about the show’s politics – but feels the similarities between his character Fred, and his quiet agreement with the horrors taking place in Atwood’s dystopian vision of America.
“Really, Fred is pathetic,” he says. “His voicelessness: that, for me, describes the man. There are brutal acts he didn’t command to happen, but he didn’t stand up. The last thing I want to do is talk Handmaid’s and then Trump’s administration, but somehow you can’t not equate some things. So you look at those Republican leaders who are not standing up, and they are all Fred.”
The third season of The Handmaid’s Tale is available on Hulu now.