Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in HOMELAND - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime

Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in HOMELAND - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime

In Showtime’s new series HOMELAND, which airs Sundays at 10 PM, Claire Danes plays CIA officer Carrie Anderson, who is convinced that returning war hero Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody, held as a POW for eight years in Iraq, has actually been turned and is now a sleeper agent planning a terrorist act on U.S. soil.

Fresh off her Emmy win for playing the real-person title character in HBO’s TEMPLE GRANDIN, The New York-born and raised Danes is making her first foray into series television since her 1994-1995 run in the short-lived but still venerated MY SO-CALLED LIFE.

She’s done theatre (notably the 2007 Broadway revival of PYGMALION) and a lot of films (including ROMEO + JULIET, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, STAGE BEAUTY and STARDUST) in the interim, but she’s clearly delighted to be back on the small screen – especially in premium cable, for the following reasons. “I think there’s just so much liberty that one has in cable. You get to curse a lot. You get to get naked a lot. I think that’s more appealing than the relatively moderate work hours [compared to network television]. It’s just [more] creative flexibility.”

Danes also thinks that television may be a better place for topical drama than theatrical films at this point in time. “It’s a great, incredibly valid question,” she adds. “I don’t think I have the answer to that, but it is true that I have not read a character this compelling in a movie script in quite some time. I just gravitate to the most interesting work, and this was just impossible to ignore.”

Danes elaborates on her HOMELAND experience in the following exclusive conversation.

ASSIGNMENT X: How did you come to be involved in this project? Were you specifically looking to do a series at this point in time?

CLAIRE DANES: No, I didn’t have a clear opinion either way. They approached me about it and I was really excited by the pilot [script] and the character, and I thought it would make for very exciting television, so I said yes.

AX: Is this your first time playing someone who is in law enforcement, broadly speaking?

DANES: Yes, it is.

AX: Have you had to do any research to play someone who works in Homeland Security?

DANES: A lot, yes. I had to [research Homeland Security officials] and what they do about terrorists. So I’ve been reading books on those subjects since July.

AX: Is there anything different in playing somebody in that type of position than in playing other characters?

DANES: Well, she’s authoritative, and there’s some funny [Homeland Security] language that is not necessarily familiar to me. It can be kind of tongue-twisters, but no. She’s a boss. She’s not the boss, there are people above her, but she has to give orders in a very comfortable way.

Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in HOMELAND - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime/Jim Bridges

Damien Lewis and Claire Danes in HOMELAND - Season 1 | ©2011 Showtime/Jim Bridges

AX: Your HOMELAND character Carrie Anderson seems pretty much as different from Temple Grandin as a part could be, given that Carrie is in a position of such authority and has to evaluate little clues about human behavior, while Temple Grandin is autistic and has become an expert on handling cattle.

DANES: Well, not really, no [in terms of the extent of the differences]. The idea is that [Carrie is] bipolar, but she sees the world from a unique vantage point and she’s hyper-vigilant.

AX: HOMELAND was adapted from the Israeli series HATUFIM, created by Gideon Raff, by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, who spent many years as producers/writers on 24. Were you a fan of 24 and/or this genre before you got this role?

DANES: I’ve never actually seen 24, but I’m a fan of [Gordon and Gansa]. They created our show and I’m loving working with them.

AX: What’s your favorite part of playing Carrie?

DANES: I like that she’s smart in an analytical way and she’s also intuitive and I like that she’s incredibly formidable and strong and also vulnerable. These seem like snap, clichéd answers, but it’s actually true of her.


Click on Link: Exclusive Interview with HOMELAND star Morena Baccarin

Click on Link: TV Review: HOMELAND – Season 1 premiere 

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Article: Exclusive Interview with HOMELAND star Claire Danes



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