The star of The Handmaid’s Tale says he doesn’t like to equate Donald Trump’s politics with the show. But, he adds, sometimes you just have to point out the blazingly obvious …‘It’s alluded to in the novel … someday, something will happen to Fred. Quite soon.” In a neutral-looking cafe in central London, Joseph Fiennes is talking about the future of his role in The Handmaid’s Tale. “Why, though?” I plead with him. “Why does he have to die?” “It’s in the novel,” Fiennes explains very patiently. “He’s got to. Come on, there are some very angry women in red out there.” When The Handmaid’s Tale first appeared on our screens in 2017, it was a bit like having an anxiety dream about the new politics, your subconscious supplying the sharp contrasts and glorious Technicolor, the brutally formal sexual violence and the intricate dystopian detail. There was a watchful intelligence in all the performances – particularly Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred, Fiennes as Fred and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena, his wife – which was arresting, and left you vaguely unsettled for a long time after each episode.
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