Why Joseph Fiennes Was Glad To Say Goodbye To The Handmaid's Tale

As a longtime fan of "The Handmaid's Tale," allow me to indulge you in a secret that's not really a secret: nobody likes Fred Waterford. He's a calculating, manipulative character who will go to any lengths to get what he wants. He's a hypocrite. He is everything that's wrong with this world. He's particularly dangerous because of the power he holds — and it's worse because even when he does play nice, his acts of kindness are just methods to enforce his authority over other people. He's not a good guy. And Joseph Fiennes, the actor who plays him on the show, is in full agreement.

Anyone who has watched "The Handmaid's Tale" mostly despises Fred for all the reasons listed above and more. So at the end of season 4, when he finally gets what he deserves, it's a great feeling. In what is easily the show's most astonishing moment yet (and believe me, there are many), Commander Fred Waterford meets his end, thanks to the efforts of June (Elisabeth Moss), his once-enslaved handmaid, and countless other women. While fans of the show were over the moon to finally say goodbye to Fred and his nonsense, actor Joseph Fiennes was just as pleased about his exit.

'There is something pathetic and pervasive about Fred'

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Fiennes revealed he was "glad" to bid farewell to his character. Fred Waterford wasn't exactly a saving grace on the show, and his four-season stint only agitated viewers.

The actor who plays the authoritarian in "The Handmaid's Tale" talked about the duality of being an English actor cast in American production and his apprehension toward playing a character that is vicious in everything he does. Fiennes says while he's proud of the work on the show (as he should be), he's relieved about it ending.

"I am glad to say goodbye to Fred. Ordinarily, the British are cast in American films as the baddies. And that sits quite well because our colonial past is so desperate—maybe it's a way of shaking off those ghosts. I don't know."

The actor continued, stating that there was something "pathetic" about his character and how "elements" of him exist in our world today. Fiennes appears to be glad that Fred got what he deserved, adding, "as a father to two daughters, I don't necessarily feel particularly proud" of the character.

Fred Waterford is brutally killed in the season 4 finale of "The Handmaid's Tale," in an explosive sequence that sees June and several other handmaids attack him, trampling him to the ground and eventually hanging him on the wall. It's a savage, almost-gory end that fans have waited to witness with bated breath ever since the show began.