Joseph Fiennes shot down plans for his “Handmaid’s Tale” character, and refused to rape his wife character in the drama and bombarded bosses with emails in a bid to make them see sense.
The actor’s Fred Waterford character was supposed to sexually assault Yvonne Strahovski’s character in a harrowing scene during season two of the hit show, but he refused.
“I guess in many ways, as abhorrent and nasty and evil as Fred is, I have to defend parts of him,” the actor tells EW.com. “In episode nine, we had a moment where Fred was going to rape… Serena (Strahovski’s character) in a hotel room, and it just didn’t track for me.
“I had to go out on a limb and refuse to do it, because I felt that even though Fred is who he is, he’s human… and he wouldn’t necessarily be switched on by being in Canada in a new hotel and trying to heavily persuade his wife to do something that she wouldn’t want to do.”
Fiennes reveals he stood firm and sent “long emails” to show creator Bruce Miller and his writers, “defending” his stance and “pushing” for another story line.
“(I felt) Yvonne had tracked Serena so beautifully that her disenfranchisement with the regime and Fred was so beautifully charted it didn’t need a heavy scene to kind of suddenly push her over the edge.”
The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season is currently available to stream on website Hulu.
– Cover Media1