Find­ing her way home

Af­ter years in the movies, Claire Danes has found the role of a life­time, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

HAS there ever been a more tor­mented TV char­ac­ter than Home­land’s Carrie Mathi­son? The for­mer CIA agent, played by Claire Danes, bat­tles bipo­lar dis­or­der, all the while track­ing marine-turnedter­ror­ist-turned-politi­cian Ni­cholas Brody (Damian Lewis).

Carrie’s con­vic­tion that Brody is linked to al-Qaida and that he plot­ted a ter­ror­ist at­tack has seen her cred­i­bil­ity de­stroyed, her san­ity ques­tioned and led to her be­ing sacked from her job.

It is an emo­tional roller­coaster that has con­tin­ued in Home­land’s sec­ond se­ries.

In the sea­son opener, Smile, set six months af­ter the first se­ries fi­nale, Carrie ap­peared to have fi­nally found peace.

‘‘ She has been very com­mit­ted to the goal of sta­bil­is­ing her­self and re­gain­ing her equi­lib­rium and her san­ity,’’ Danes says. ‘‘ She’s gone through that full course of treat­ment and been liv­ing with her sis­ter. She’s re­ally co­cooned her­self and tried to ac­cept this new re­al­ity, this pared down re­al­ity.

‘‘ She’s teach­ing English to Arab students. She’s feel­ing con­fi­dent-ish.’’

All of that changed when a CIA in­for­mant said that she would pass in­for­ma­tion about an im­mi­nent ter­ror­ist at­tack on Amer­ica only to Carrie.

Carrie was drawn back into a life of es­pi­onage — which has set off an­other chain of emo­tional tur­moil.

By the third episode, State of In­de­pen­dence, Carrie had downed a dozen pills in the hope of end­ing her life. For­tu­nately, she changed her mind and forced her­self to vomit.

Shortly after­wards, Carrie was in a state of eu­pho­ria as she learnt Saul (Mandy Patinkin) had dis­cov­ered Brody’s video con­fes­sion. Her sus­pi­cions had been vin­di­cated.

No won­der Danes has won Best Ac­tress Golden Globe and Prime­time Emmy awards

They don’t trust each other but they also know each other in­ti­mately

Claire Danes, above, as Carrie in for play­ing Carrie. It is the role of a life­time.

‘‘ It was fa­tigu­ing in the first sea­son to main­tain that pitch (of emo­tional in­sta­bil­ity) and that sense of hy­per vig­i­lance that she al­ways had,’’ Danes says.

‘‘( I was) wrestling with her con­stant ques­tion­ing of her own abil­i­ties and her own per­spec­tive. She didn’t know if she could trust her judge­ment, and that’s un­nerv­ing.’’

Danes sees some sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween her­self and Carrie, even though they come from very dif­fer­ent worlds.

Danes stud­ied psy­chol­ogy at Yale Univer­sity.

Her act­ing ca­reer took flight with the lead role — teen An­gela Chase — in TV se­ries My So-Called Life.

In­ter­na­tional fame came

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.