Is it a spoiler for The Handmaid’s Tale to tell you that there will be a second season of The Handmaid’s Tale? The first season’s finale was released last week and there were a lot of feelings about the cliffhanger. But I won’t spoil it for people. It’s no surprise to me that Elisabeth Moss has gotten some of the best reviews of her career for this series (where she is not just the star but a hands-on producer). It does surprise me a bit that Joseph Fiennes took the role and that he actually hasn’t been much a focus in the press around the series. Twenty years ago, Joseph Fiennes was a big deal. Then some bad career decisions mixed with what seemed to be disenchantment with Hollywood took their toll on his career, and now the former ‘90s heartthrob finds himself playing the smarmy villain (-ish) of a Hulu series? Yet it does make sense. Now that Season 1 is done, Joseph is doing some press and bless his heart, he’s trying to sound like a woke feminist or something.
Whether he feels like real life will mimic the show: “When you wake up and you see that America has pulled out of the climate deal in Paris, that sends huge messages about putting coal before the planet. Gilead has suffered from a fragile ecology that is now toxic and affecting fertility rates. There is truth to it—there is connection, themes, and parallels, sadly. It’s getting sharper and sharper, especially for women—the autonomy of their bodies, and pro-choice vs. pro-life. Look at the administration, the imbalance of the female presence—there’s a lot to draw on. But it was wonderful seeing the woman’s marches, and seeing numbers bigger than the president’s inauguration. It gives one great heart that there are people present, alert, and awake, and voicing their frustrations. We need more of that.”
The show has made him a bigger feminist: “The three most important people in my life are my wife and two daughters, and certainly the show has jolted me into a much more alert state of the inequality amongst the sexes. By virtue of that, I feel much more switched on to feminism, and what it means and stands for. I want my daughters to live in a world where there is equality and parity of pay. We’ve got a long way to go. I read a statistic that if you’re a Hispanic women it’ll be over 200 years until you achieve parity of pay. So yes, the show has jolted me into a state of consciousness.”
Basing his character on real people: “Margaret Atwood’s source material was the most important to me, and then I fleshed it out from there. As the election in America came into fruition and we saw the results, there were certain people in the administration that I couldn’t help but be curious about. I didn’t necessarily borrow from them, but there are facets that bolster them—a man in power, a man who, in a puritanical sense, wants to go back to traditional values. There are people who look avuncular and nice. Assad in Syria looks like an avuncular professor, yet is behind the intent of using chemical weapons that killed so many children.”
You know what bugs? “The three most important people in my life are my wife and two daughters, and certainly the show has jolted me into a much more alert state of the inequality amongst the sexes.” There is so much wrong with that. It was the show that made him more of a feminist and not the fact that he loves his wife and daughters and he wants them to be equal in every way in society? And men need to stop citing their female family members as “evidence” that they don’t have issues with women and/or feminism. You don’t have to have a daughter to be a feminist. You don’t need a sister to care about equality. How about caring about women who you are not related to? How about caring about half of the population of the world because they are YOUR FELLOW HUMANS? Sorry, I don’t mean to unload on him – I know he’s means well and he’s putting more effort into it than a lot of men, quite honestly. But seriously, don’t star in The Handmaid’s Tale and allow the words “pro-life” to come out of your mouth.
Photos courtesy of WENN.