Whitford will play Commander Joseph Lawrence, the architect of Gilead’s economy. The character is described as gruff and intimidating with a disheveled mad genius vibe. His sly humor and flashes of kindness make him a confusing, mysterious presence for his newest Handmaid.
Whitford is a film and television veteran who has won two Emmys in his career, one for “Transparent” and another for “The West Wing.” He also recently appeared in the Oscar-nominated films “Get Out” and “The Post.”
He is repped by ICM Partners and Greenlight Management.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” returns with its second season in April. Adapted from the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, the series takes place in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized “return to traditional values.” As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world.
The show won eight Emmys for its first season, including outstanding drama series, outstanding lead actress in a drama series (Moss), outstanding writing for a drama series (Bruce Miller), outstanding supporting actress in a drama series (Ann Dowd), and outstanding directing for a drama series (Reed Morano).
Deadline first reported Whitford’s casting.