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Jason Butler Harner plays Commander MacKenzie in season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale. If Harner seems familiar to you, that’s because he’s been acting since the early aughts. Learn more about his character in the Hulu series, plus the other roles from Harner’s acting portfolio that you might recognize. 

Jason Butler Harner, who plays Commander MacKenzie in season 5 of 'The Handmaid's Tale, smirks at the camera
Jason Butler Harner | David Livingston/FilmMagic

Jason Butler Harner is Commander MacKenzie in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 5

The latest season of The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t the first time Commander MacKenzie is mentioned in the Hulu series. His name comes up in the second and third seasons. What’s more, his wife, Mrs. MacKenzie (Amy Landecker), previously appeared when June (Elisabeth Moss) snuck into their home to see her daughter Hannah (Jordana Blake), who the MacKenzies forcefully adopted and renamed Agnes. 

Commander MacKenzie plays a more prominent role in The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. With Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) gone, MacKenzie is stepping up to become the show’s new big bad. 

Before Commander MacKenzie in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, the actor appeared in ‘Ozark,’ ‘Scandal,’ and ‘This Is Us’ 

Outside of The Handmaid’s Tale, Harner has acting credits in several other popular television series. Some might recognize him from his role in the Netflix show Ozark. Harner played Roy Petty, the crooked FBI agent and antagonist in the first two seasons of the Jason Bateman-led series. 

Rachel (Jordana Spiro) and Agent Petty (Jason Butler Harner) speak in season 2 of 'Ozark'
Jordana Spiro as Rachel and Jason Butler Harner as Agent Roy Petty in ‘Ozark’ | Netflix

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 5 Premiere — Yes, You See Fred Waterford’s Mangled Body

Another series Harner had a memorable arc in was Scandal. He played Ian McLeod (also known as Ian Woods), the mercenary/gun-for-hire/kidnapper in the Shonda Rhimes thriller.

Harner even had a guest role in This Is Us. He appeared as an Alcoholic’s Anonymous speaker in the episode “A Manny-Splendored Thing.” 

Movies and TV shows starring Jason Butler Harner 

You may have also seen Harner in the following movies and TV shows: 

  • The Walking Dead (2002)
  • The Big Bend (2021)
  • Next (2020)
  • High Maintenance (2018)
  • Ash (2017)
  • Elementary (2017)
  • Colony (2016)
  • The Family Fang (2015)
  • Ray Donovan (2015)
  • Blackhat (2015)
  • The Blacklist (2014)
  • Non-Stop (2014)
  • Betrayal (2013)
  • Homeland (2013)
  • The Newsroom (2012)
  • Alcatraz (2012)
  • Chase (2011)
  • The Green (2011)
  • Letters from the Big Man (2011)
  • Kill the Irishman (2011)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2010)
  • The Extra Man (2010)
  • Possible Side Effects (2009)
  • Mercy (2009)
  • The Good Wife (2009)
  • The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) 
  • Law & Order (2002-2009)
  • Fringe (2008)
  • Changeling (2008)
  • John Adams (2008)
  • New Orleans, Mon Amour(2008)
  • Moonlight (2008)
  • Next (2007)
  • The Good Shepherd (2006)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2006)
  • The Closer (2006)
  • Hope & Faith (2004)
  • Nylon (2004)
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2002)
  • Garmento (2002)
  • The 3 Little Wolfs (2001)
  • Trifling with Fate (2000)

He will also appear in the upcoming Sour Milk, a 2022 drama that follows a teenager straddling “the line between childhood and adulthood when she is forced to move in with her father and his younger girlfriend after her mother’s death” (via IMDb). 

Harner also has roles in the upcoming I Was a Stranger and Rabbit Hole. See his performance as Commander MacKenzie in new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale, which drop weekly on Wednesdays exclusively on Hulu.