Emmys: ‘Homeland’s’ Damian Lewis on Brody’s Brutal End and Viewers’ Reactions (Q&A)
9:00 AM PDT 6/2/2014 by
The actor reflects on the demise of his controversial character, the show’s passionate fan base and the thrill of playing “a baddie.”
This story first appeared in a special Emmy issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Damian Lewis harbored no illusions that his turncoat Marine alter ego Nicholas Brody was destined for a long life on Showtime’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning drama Homeland. He will tell you that, all things considered, three seasons felt about right.
Yet when the end came with Brody’s execution in a public square in Tehran as the season-three climax in December, it nonetheless proved harrowing. Here, the 2012 lead actor Emmy winner reveals the trauma and triumph of wrapping up Homeland‘s most mysterious figure and the gratitude he feels for getting a role a lot of guys “would have killed for.”
Have you recovered yet from the trauma of having been executed?
Of having been hanged publicly, humiliatingly, and having soiled my underwear in front of a global viewership of millions? Yes. Just getting over it now. You should see my therapy bill!
How did you prepare for the final scene in which Brody is hanged?
It was legitimately unsettling. We had a lot of people that day milling around — more than 200 extras — and they were all expected to bang the car and whoop and holler. While I knew we were only telling a story, I definitely got a sense of what it must be like, the isolation, the loneliness of going to your death in front of a baying crowd. It actually was quite disturbing to film. We also were in a Muslim country, Morocco, so there was an energy there. I certainly felt like a foreigner in a strange land. Which was exactly the story of Brody that we were telling.
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