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Homeland’s Damian Lewis on ‘Tower of David’ and Brody’s Very Bleak Future, Vulture, October 13, 2013

Homeland’s Damian Lewis on ‘Tower of David’ and Brody’s Very Bleak Future


After being MIA from Homeland for two weeks, tonight’s episode finally shed light on what Nicholas Brody has been up to since being dropped off at the Canadian border following the CIA bombing last season. He’s been running non-stop thanks to what appears to be Carrie’s global network of people who owe her a favor. But the slums of Caracas, Venezuela appear to be the end of the line for him. We spoke to Damian Lewis about what’s next for Brody, what it was like to shoot in a tower without walls (scary!), and what he meant when he told Men’s Journalthat keeping Brody alive was “compromised storytelling.”

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty

Brody’s been on the move since he fled. Can you fill in the gaps?
He’s been passed anonymously from one cell to the next, and part of the success of this exfiltration plan is that nobody has any more information than they need to have, including Carrie. He’s kind of been lost in this maze, and I think that contributes to the nightmarish, hallucinatory feeling of the episode. It’s as though he’s living in another reality somewhere, a parallel universe a long way from the Canadian border and certainly a long way from the story we’ve been with so far, which is the CIA and Langley and D.C.

Who shot him?
He gets into a border fight and he gets shot in the stomach. That’s all about the reward on his head.

The guy who’s responsible for him in Caracas doesn’t seem to want to be helping Carrie.
Yeah, it seems as though he is not eligible for this $10 million reward. He’s really doing a favor for Carrie. I mean, I don’t think we’ll ever find out why. I don’t think it’s interesting enough for the story, but he’s beholden in some way to the CIA. They have something on him, I think.

The tower Brody’s being held in has no walls. What was it like filming in that building?
It was an abandoned building in Puerto Rico, done up by the art department exquisitely to look like a slum. Filming had its safety issues because, as you say, there were no walls. You were ten stories up at the top of the building and if you weren’t concentrating you’d be ten stories on the sidewalk below. The wind howled through there. It was like a wind tunnel, so you could be walking around and be really blown around up there. We weren’t allowed to go within six feet of the edge, which was no problem for me because I get mild vertigo, and I’m bad with heights [laughs]. I get sweaty and dizzy. There were a couple of precarious moments where I had to walk right to the edge, but there were many, many safety precautions.

In the end, Brody takes the drugs he’s offered by one of his captors. Has he given up at that point?
Yeah, I think he’s pretty broken. He’s a man who’s desperate for peace. He’s a man who’s been a pawn for so long, constantly waiting for direction to be told what to do next. His life has no permanence, and I think that’s an exhausting way to live. At that moment he thinks, I could just sit here and get out of my mind — and that is a good alternative right now. And it’s sad. I think what really broke him — and it’s a brilliant moment of not just this episode but of the whole season so far — is when he goes to the imam seeking sanctuary. You would think in the context of the episode, here’s another stereotypical, slightly shady Islamic character, the shady cleric who shelters Brody. And then he turns out to be a brilliant, moderate-thinking, moral Muslim figure in the center of this show. It’s like he says, “You may be Muslim and you may be coming to me, expecting me to be your father and take you in and give you sanctuary, but I cannot condone terrorist acts. You blew up 280 Americans.” Or so he thinks. It’s a great moment to have a Muslim character like that in the show, who stands up and says, “No, you’re a bad man.” Of course, the irony is he didn’t do it. That really breaks him. It’s the one thing he’s always had, that personal relationship with Allah.

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