‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: What Is Joseph Fiennes’ Net Worth?

Fans of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale are no stranger to Joseph Fiennes, better known as Commander Fred Waterford on the highly-rated show. Before its success, Fiennes appeared in many film and TV roles. His family’s also involved in the industry — two sisters are directors, and his brother, Ralph Fiennes, is well known for playing Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films. Considering all his success — how much is he worth?

Joseph Fiennes smiling in front of a blurred crowd
Joseph Fiennes | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Fiennes’s start and early career

Fiennes trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before taking to the stage in London’s West End. He also worked in the Royal Shakespeare Company for a short time before making his film debut in 1996’s Stealing Beauty. After that, according to IMDb, he worked on two critically acclaimed period pieces, Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love

His portrayal as William Shakespeare in the film almost didn’t happen, according to co-star Gwyneth Paltrow. She told Harpers Bazaar that Harvey Weinstein wanted to switch Fiennes with another big-name actor. “At the last minute, Harvey wanted Ben Affleck to take over and play Shakespeare,” but Paltrow balked at the idea. “I said, ‘No, you can’t do that. You have to have an English person.”

Whether true or not, the role earned Fiennes a slew of award nominations and established him as a Hollywood heavyweight. From there, he continued to work regularly, making splashes with his role in ABC’s FlashForward and FX’s terror-inducing American Horror Story: Asylum

A career-defining role

RELATED: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 4: Ann Dowd Hinted at Possible Punishment for Aunt Lydia

Playing the role of the villainous Fred Waterford on The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t easy for Fiennes. The Commander is part of the totalitarian society of Gilead, where fertile women become forced into sexual slavery. He told GMA that playing Commander Waterford weighs on him:

Although Fred is a character that I very much enjoy getting under the skin of, I also can’t wait when I hear at the end of each day, ‘cut.’ And I’m allowed to escape.

Scenes with the rest of the cast are often heavy and filled with topics and violence not easily discussed or often portrayed. Fiennes says that in order to survive filming those difficult pieces, the cast tries to keep things lighthearted.

Behind the scenes, we’re a close-knit family. I think we all know what we’re doing as a narrative is pretty heavy 99.9% of the time. So in order to survive seven grueling months with this narrative, I think all of us know that if we didn’t have a sense of humor behind the camera, we’d never get through it.

What is Joseph Fiennes’ net worth?

Clearly, working on critically acclaimed period pieces at the beginning of his career paid off. Fiennes is worth around $10 million, and even though that’s a whole lot of cash, he’s still behind two of his The Handmaid’s Tale leading ladies.

Yvonne Strahovski (Serena Joy Waterford) pulls in an estimated $12 million. Before her role as buttoned-up Serena, she’s famous for her appearances in Chuck and Dexter. Elisabeth Moss leads the top of the list, with a net worth of $30 million. Before playing the dynamic June Osborne, she’s most recognized for her role as Peggy in AMC’s Mad Men.

Consistently working on TV and film roles paid off for the British-born actor. The continued success of The Handmaid’s Tale will only add to his net worth. However, it’s refreshing to see that the two women under his thumb during the series (June Osborne played by Elizabeth Moss, and Serena Joy Waterford played by Yvonne Strahovski) are actually worth more than their nefarious Commander Waterford in real life.