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Homeland – Stars on Cursing and Getting Naked a lot, Film Review Online, August 29, 2011

Homeland – Stars on cursing and getting naked a lot

omeland - Claire Danes and Damian Lewis

Homeland – Claire Danes and Damian Lewis speak to the press during the TCA Session held on August 4, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA © 2011 CBS Broadcasting, Photo Mark Davis

Showtime’s new drama Homeland stars Emmy Award winning actress Claire Danes (Temple Grandin) and British actor Damian Lewis, who is best known to TV audiences for his series, Life.

In Homeland Danes portrays Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who becomes suspicious of the rescue of a US Marine, Sgt Nicholas Brody (Lewis), who has been missing in Iraq since 2003. Coming home to a heroes welcome, led by his wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin), Brody’s story of survival makes him the new poster boy for America’s ‘War on Terror.’ Mathison, who is battling her own psychological demons and personal secrets, must discover what Brody’s possible intents are before a tragedy can occur.

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis flew into Los Angeles from shooting the series in North Carolina, to speak with the TV Critics about their new drama.

Can you talk a little about Carrie Mathison, and what it is about her that made you want to play the role?

Homeland - Claire Danes
Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) © 2011 CBS Broadcasting

Claire Danes: She’s incredibly bright, at times dangerously bright, and formidable and focused, compulsive and even myopic. But she’s also very sensitive and vulnerable. And that juxtaposition is interesting.

My first roommate in college was a CIA officer for a little while, and she’s the most innocuous, benign person. And so I was telling her that I was going to play this role. ‘I’m going to play a CIA office, and she’s bipolar.’ And her immediate response was, ‘Oh, she sounds very isolated.

That’s a lonely character.’ And she is. She’s on the outside, and that provides her this incredible perspective and incredible vantage point. But it also causes her suffering and she needs to resolve that. And I think that’s very interesting.

Damian, you’ve played similar roles in other work you’ve done. What do you think it is about you that seems right for this kind of role?

Homeland - Morena Baccarin and Damien Lewis
Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin) and Scott Brody (Damien Lewis) © 2011 CBS Broadcasting

Damian Lewis: American psychopaths? I think it’s the early Noel Coward that I did in the West End! There are similarities between Nick Brody and Charlie Crews (in Life). They are both sent away for different reasons. They are held in captivity for different reasons.

But they did come back changed men. This is, I would say, more realistic. I don’t know why I play Americans convincingly. It’s a lucky, happy fluke that I’m going to run with until someone finds me out.

The torture scenes look appropriately grisly. Can you talk about shooting them?

Damian: This character is so compelling that it feeds the psychology of the piece. It helps me because a lot of it appears in flashback, and I enjoy the way in which it informs the character going forward.

I don’t mind filming that stuff too much, weirdly. But I’m an exhibitionist!

Read the rest of the interview here