Far from her Home­land

Claire Danes’ Car­rie Mathi­son makes some dan­ger­ous calls as she grap­ples with grief

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

STILL un­pre­dictable. Still volatile. Still bril­liant. Still bipo­lar. But Brody- less. That’s Claire Danes’ CIA Agent Car­rie Mathi­son as sea­son four of Home­land opens. Danes warns, you can add “alarm­ingly high­func­tion­ing”, cold, ex­act­ing and im­pa­tient to the list as Car­rie strug­gles to come to terms with see­ing Ni­cholas Brody ( Damien Lewis) – her lover and the fa­ther of her child – pub­licly ex­e­cuted in sea­son three’s bru­tally un­for­get­table fi­nale.

Car­rie had been first frozen out by the CIA, com­mit­ted to an asy­lum, re­cruited as a dou­ble agent and then re- in­ducted into the CIA to help or­ches­trate an as­sas­si­na­tion which ul­ti­mately re­sulted in the pub­lic hang­ing of Brody.

Sea­son four opens in Is­lam­abad and Kabul, with Car­rie work­ing at a dan­ger­ous CIA sta­tion in South Asia. With­out her child.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Alex Gansa has promised se­ries four will “re­set” Home­land to what the show knows best: ac­tion, in­trigue and deep con­spir­acy.

For Car­rie, that means pub­licly work­ing with steely fo­cus and pri­vately de­nial – which sees her dis­tance her­self from her baby and her grief.

“It’s been a lot of sea­sons of trauma,” says Danes.

“Car­rie’s past a cer­tain thresh­old and her re­sponse is not so histri­onic. In fact she’s kind of flat­lined.

“She’s sort of alarm­ingly high­func­tion­ing. There’s a lot of pain lurk­ing be­neath the sur­face.”

While flick­ers of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and hu­man­ity sur­face, Danes con­fesses “she’s not a lot of fun right now”.

Added to her pro­found loss is her guilt – to the point where she can’t face her own child.

“She led him [ Brody] to his death. And she has this kid, who she’s just kind of de­posited with her sis­ter and is not re­ally able to face.

“Ul­ti­mately her work this sea­son is to … ar­rive at a place where she can ac­cept her new re­al­ity as a mother and embrace her child.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult be­ing in the same space with her child. It evokes Brody,” Danes said in trail­ers pro­mot­ing the new sea­son.

“The re­al­ity is, even us moth­ers who love our chil­dren have com­pli­cated feel­ings about it.”

Danes knows it will, again, make Car­rie hard to like. “She’s not in a very flat­ter­ing light. It’s just a new way to find her to be quite dif­fi­cult,” she says.

“The band has got to snap. Sure enough I have to brace my­self for the ride … it gets ugly.

“She’s in th­ese high- risk ter­ri­to­ries where you’re not al­lowed to bring de­pen­dants,” she says. “She’s forced to re- en­gage with the kid and she fails mis­er­ably, she just pan­ics and finds a way to leave again.

“That’s one of the last taboos in our so­ci­ety – a woman who is not in­ter­ested; doesn’t have ma­ter­nal feel­ings to­wards her child.

“I think that’ll be very con­fronting for a lot of peo­ple.”



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