Joseph Fiennes Says No To Rape Scene In 'Handmaid's Tale'

Ria Das
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Joseph fiennes rape scene

Actor Joseph Fiennes may have learned how to play the oppressor on camera, but he refused to film a rape scene in the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. The dark and brutal series required him to film a rape scene in accordance with the plot, but he persuaded the makers to remove it from the script.


In a new interview with EW, Fiennes revealed that he went against a particular scene in the planned season two, which required him to film a shoot that would take place during a visit across the border to Canada.

Fiennes, who plays Commander Fred Waterford in the dystopian television drama, said, “In episode nine, we had a moment where Fred was going to rape Serena in a hotel room…. and it just didn’t track with 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.”

“I guess in many ways, as abhorrent and nasty and evil as Fred is, I have to defend parts of him,” Fiennes explained

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Fiennes expressed his thoughts to the writers via “long emails and defending and pushing”, arguing that his character would not be “trying to heavily persuade his wife to do something that she wouldn’t want to do”. The actor said he was “battling for human nuance within a very dark character”.

The series shows explicit scenes which audiences are still trying to cope up with. Earlier this year, Keira Knightley spoke out against rape scenes on screen. “I don’t really do films set in the modern day because the female characters nearly always get raped,” she said. “I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed, whereas I’ve always found very inspiring characters offered to be in historical pieces.”

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