It has been a minute since I’ve seen Joseph Fiennes, because — confession, gulp — I never really watched The Handmaid’s Tale. I got most of the way through season one and then something shiny caught my eye and then about a hundred other Something Shinys flitted by and lo and behold they’re a bajillion seasons deep and I never went back. So really, the last time I meaningfully encountered JoFi was during his one-season mess of a network show, FlashForward, which was about people who’d been given a glimpse of their futures. But their nine-months-from-now futures — their 21 episodes later futures — and not ten years or anything. It was terrible. Courtney B. Vance got roped into it, too. AND John Cho, and Gabrielle Union, and Jack Davenport, and Dominic Monaghan… My friend Carrie and I selected as that year’s Terrible Thing We’ll Watch Only Together. Those usually only last about 4 weeks, but this one went a whole SEASON. (Manifest is the one that’s backfired on us the hardest. It wouldn’t stop, and it became a battle of wills. We still haven’t finished. BUT WE SHALL, YOU JERKS.) Anyway, I have a recording on my phone of a scene in which JoFi Stadium was acting drunk, so very badly, and at one point when Liam was about 4, I played it in front of him and he started imitating it and it was perfect?!? So now I have a fondness for this man, all because he once drawled, “Because I was LOOOADED, OKAAAAAAY” in Courtney B. Vance’s face.

Joseph is starring in Dear England, a play about Gareth Southgate coaching the men’s national football squad — he is STILL the manager — and is based on a letter he wrote to the team fans in 2021, during Covid. He is actually decent casting as Southgate, but as I look at him here, not having seen him in a minute… has he sharpened into a young James Cromwell?!? Does this mean we should petition for a Succession prequel? YES IT DOES. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. Please go forth and fantasy cast Young Logan Roy.

[Photo: Alan Chapman/Dave Benett/Getty Images]