‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star O-T Fagbenle Tells Us How He Is Celebrating His Emmy Nomination

After four seasons and 75 Emmy nominations — including the first (and still only) streaming series ever to win Outstanding Drama — star O-T Fagbenle has a lot to celebrate with his cast and crew. The fourth season of the Emmy-winning show earned 21 nominations, including an incredible ten acting nominations. Fagbenle joins co-stars Bradley Whitford and Max Minghella in the stellar lineup of Outstanding Supporting Actors in a Drama Series.

Fagbenle plays Luke Bankole, the endlessly patient and long-suffering husband of Gilead’s chief disruptor, June Osborne. Managing to find refuge in Canada, Luke has never given up on the possibility of June’s escape to freedom. Raising the child she was forced to conceive with another man, season four took both of them in some new and unexpected directions, and Fagbenle’s performance has been one of the most emotionally grounded and relatable from an outstanding cast.

We caught up with O-T Fagbenle, star of Black Widow and now Emmy nominee for The Handmaid’s Tale, to find out how he is celebrating today.

Karen Peterson/We Live Entertainment: Congratulations! How are you feeling today?

O-T Fagbenle: A bit overwhelmed, to be honest. But I’m rolling with it. It’s all good!

KP: How did you get the news that you are now an Emmy nominee for The Handmaid’s Tale?

O-T: My reps called me and it was very loud where I was. It sounded like they were saying I’ve been nominated for an Emmy Award, and I was just sure that wasn’t what was going on. So I said, “Listen, there’s a bad line. It sounds like you’re saying I’ve been nominated. I’m gonna have to call you back when it’s a bit more quiet because nothing’s making sense.” Yeah, and then and then I call back and then, oh okay I’ve been nominated.

KP: There were so there were so many exciting nominations this morning but for myself personally, when I saw your name on the list I screamed because I was so happy for you!

O-T: Thanks so much. You know, it’s so funny because I guess for me, I’m very happy. I really, genuinely am very, very happy. But weirdly enough, literally, my first thought was, oh my gosh I wonder if Maddie [Brewer] got nominated, which indeed she did. And, you know, I just share that feeling that you have, I have about the rest of my cast who I genuinely adore.

KP: Ten acting nominations for The Handmaid’s Tale is just unbelievable. How does it feel for you to be part of this crazy experience?

O-T: I’m so delighted for everybody because I’ve always thought, every year, how are all these amazing actors not nominated? Because I’m just bowled over, I’ve been blown away by their work, and I guess this is the season where there’s so many.

KP: Have you all been talking to each other today?

O-T: Yeah, there’s a bunch of texts going and stuff like that. I mean like I said, I find it a bit overwhelming, and at some point I have to put my phone down and have a look at the sky. But everybody’s really excited. I got a great text from Samira and, everyone is pretty pumped.

KP: You’ve had a big week. You are now Emmy nominated, you star in the current biggest movie in the world. How do you process all of this? How are you spending your day?

O-T: I’m hanging out with my nephews. It’s their first time in Nigeria and so I’m just kind of taking it upon myself to introduce them to the country of their mother. Connecting with family is how I’m celebrating.

Our thanks and congratulations to O-T Fagbenle and the rest of the Emmy nominees from The Handmaid’s Tale.

Seasons 1-4 of The Handmaid’s Tale are streaming on Hulu.

The 73rd Primetime Emmys will air on Sunday, September 19 on CBS.


Written by
Karen Peterson is the Awards Editor for We Live Entertainment. She previously worked as the Assistant Editor at Awards Circuit, now owned by Variety. Her work can also be found at Citizen Dame and at the Watch and Talk podcast. Her non-awards season hobbies include Angels baseball, taking pictures of other peoples' pets, and tweeting about The Bachelor franchise.

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