The Handmaid’s Tale: Fred Waterford star opens up on ‘tough’ role ‘Goes against my soul’

The Handmaid's Tale: June Osborne prepares for trial in teaser

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The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, recently aired the latest season on Channel 4, and fans are already eager to find out what awaits June (played by Elisabeth Moss) in series five. Brave protagonist June has suffered horrifically at the hands of the Gilead regime, and one of the men behind her trauma is the head of the household she served, Fred Waterford. He helped to design and establish Gilead, and has a manipulative, ruthless streak. Joseph admitted the character was a difficult one to portray.

“As you can imagine, it’s been a bunch of giggles to play Fred,” the 51-year-old actor joked.

He continued: “It’s been tough, there are things that he does and says that go against all of my soul and being.”

Speaking during a TV Promos interview, he added: “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.”

Fred is introduced in season one, when June is assigned to the Waterford home after her time “training” as a handmaid at the The Red Center.

He, like the other commanders with their handmaids, subjected June to physical, sexual and mental abuse in an effort to create Gilead as a thriving and populous place.

As a handmaid, it was June’s duty to bear children Fred and his wife Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski).

During season one, June uncovered the fact that the Waterfords had done the same to a previous handmaid, who ended up killing herself before June replaced her.

Although the original Ofred never appeared on-screen, June found out details about her and she was mentioned a few times.

Joseph recently cited this fact as being among the most haunting moments of the show.

He commented: “I think he’s [Fred] 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.”

During an interview with, Joseph continued: “The whole household was haunted by the death of the first Offred.”

In season four, Fred ends up in custody for his crimes and his part in establishing the state.

But the former commander gets his comeuppance in season four, when June and the other former handmaids brutally beat him to death.

Now that season four is over, fans are speculating about what might await June in the next instalments.

Elisabeth herself hinted that June’s ultimate goal is to remove her daughter Hannah from Gilead.

The 39-year-old star of the dark series explained: “Her life is about this war.

“And her life is about creating a better future for her daughters. That is her purpose and, let us not forget, she still has a daughter that is in Gilead.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress continued: “This show is about the first episode with that first scene where her daughter is taken away.

“This show is about a woman creating a better future for the next generation and, specifically, for her own children.”

The Handmaid’s Tale is available to stream on All4 and Hulu.

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