The Handmaid’s Tale star opens up on ‘difficult’ character: ‘He’s nasty’

The Handmaid's Tale: Trailer for fourth series released

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Season four of hit Hulu show, The Handmaid’s Tale, saw June (played by Elisabeth Moss) finally escape the clutches of Gilead and head to Chicago and she formed a plan to exact revenge on her rapist Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). However, the finale shocked viewers and star Fiennes has detailed what it is really like to portray someone like the Commander on-screen.

WARNING: Spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale season four below.

The finale episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Wilderness, was a gruesome end to season four but the episode delivered what fans have been waiting for since the very beginning.

Former Commander Fred Waterford finally met his demise at the hands of fearless leader June.

Fred was the horrifying villain who repeatedly raped and tortured numerous women in Gilead, specifically June who lived as the Waterfords’ handmaiden for seven years.

Speaking in a behind the scenes video about his character in the finale, Fiennes joked: “As you can imagine, it’s been a bunch of giggles to play Fred.

“It’s been tough, there are things that he does and says that go all against my soul and being,” the actor explained.

Executive producer noted that even in his final hours, “Fred is very arrogant,” and has no regret whatsoever for his actions.

“I find a lot of the scenes with Fred difficult, it circles back to the manipulation of truth that spells him to be a particularly nasty character.”

Creator Bruce Miller stated that the finale had to finally be Fred “getting a taste of his own medicine”.

“He had a dreadful and terrifying experience and we can see that blooming on his face, and that was very important to me.

“What was important was not the death, but the fear of death, because that’s the punishment,” Miller concluded.

Fiennes recently told Deadline that his exit was something only Bruce and author Margaret Atwood knew and the two had planned for how Fred would die.

“It was alluded to somewhere in the book that a certain Fred Waterford would get his comeuppance via a Salvaging, but when and by whom it didn’t explicitly say,” the actor said.

The star also revealed that at the end of each season, Miller would discuss the next season for him and his character.

Miller had previously told the actor that Fred would probably die in season three, however, Fiennes was shocked that Fred survived another season.

Miller later told him that season four would be the perfect time for the character’s demise, and that little inkling prepared the actor for possibly departing the show.

The showrunner noted that Fred moves through the story in a certain way that leaves him unaware of the fury he lights within June.

However, he wanted to showcase in the final episodes how Fred cleverly manoeuvres himself and his family to “acquire the power”.

“I mean he basically succeeds his way into the grave,” Miller remarked.

Fiennes gleefully stated that he was glad that Fred met his demise from June and noted her story of revenge is “fascinating”.

He later told the publication how he felt leaving the beloved series, saying: “The Handmaid’s Tale has taught me so much.

“But I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy this show from another perspective.”

He further explained that Miller introduced the revenge theme in season four, which, in turn, required “closure and forgiveness” for the story and that ramifications for Fred’s actions were necessary for audiences to eventually see.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 is available to stream on Hulu in the USA and airs Sundays on Channel 4 in the UK.

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