The Handmaids Tale: Fred Waterford star opens up on haunting moment

The Handmaid’s Tale: June faces torture from Lieutenant Stans

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The Handmaid’s Tale followed the life of June Osborne (played by Elisabeth Moss) as she was snatched from her family and forced to work in the state of Gilead. There she suffered sexual, physical and mental abuse for seven years until she escaped. Actor Joseph Fiennes who played Fred Waterford recently opened up on one of the many ‘haunting’ moments he experienced in his role.

Gilead was a patriarchal state that eradicated the rights women had before they went into power.

June saw the effects of this when she was fired from her job as a book editor and lost access to her bank account because she was a woman.

Season one saw the heartbreaking moment she was separated from her family and forced to undergo brutal training in the Red Centre to become a Handmaid.

The evil disciplinarian Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) even resorted to removing Janine Lindo’s (Madeline Brewer) eye as punishment for swearing.

Eventually, June was taken to work at the Waterford’s home where Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) resided.

It was June’s duty to bear children for the infertile couple during a ritualised act of Ceremony where Fred would rape her and Serena would hold her down.

It was discovered that the couple’s previous Handmaid Offred had committed suicide because she wanted to escape the abuse she had endured.

As her death took place before June, the first Handmaid never appeared on-screen, however, she was often spoken about.

In an interview with Joseph was asked about his scene with Rita (Amanda Brugel) when he revealed a haunting moment.

He disclosed: “I think he’s aware that she knew what was going on and also there’s the previous Handmaid that took her life, which I found out in the book, just haunting.

“The whole household was haunted by the death of the first Offred,“ he added.

In season four, Fred was in custody for his crimes and his part in establishing the state, Rita who also worked in his house as Martha visited him and told him Serena was pregnant.

Joseph explained: “I don’t think he could really compute the ultrasound in front of him and up until he opens and sees that and mull on that miracle. It goes back to this thing I read which is this rationalisation of events, it seems to me a lot of the time a perpetrator or a predator of his kind is always re-aligning the truth to fit their narrative.”

“I think when Rita comes in he knows he’s got to go on trial, so the first thing he wants to make sure is that they’re clear that he did nothing to her and he didn’t, he was always quite kind and nice to her but she saw and understood the horrors of the household,” the actor concluded.

Although Rita was subjected to physical harm she also decided to escape Gilead and seek freedom in Canada.

There she teamed up with June and supported her as she prepared to give her witness testimony against Fred and Serena.

Another horror awaited the former Handmaid as she discovered Fred’s charges had been dropped because he offered inside information about Gilead.

June was angry at the justice system and wanted to seek revenge, so she hatched a plan and in the shocking season finale, she and other ex-handmaids beat Fred to death in No Man’s Land.

Although Joseph’s character was clearly dead it was hinted that he could make an appearance in season four with the use of flashback scenes.

A release date for the upcoming instalment hasn’t been announced yet, but will be updated with new information.

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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