Claire Danes covers Capitol File May/June 2012 looking stunning as ever. In the accompanying interview, the beautiful 32-year-old ‘Homeland’ actress dishes on a wide range of topics including researching for her role on two subjects previously foreign to her, espionage and bipolar personality disorder, her cast mates and filming in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Danes, who studied for two years at Yale, jokes in the cover story saying that as a native New Yorker, “I’ve been in therapy forever — I’m an armchair therapist at the very least.” More seriously, she says, “Acting and psychology are not unrelated. They’re both examinations of the human spirit…. I’m really curious as to how people work, particularly people with certain conditions that make them different to the rest of us.”
The actress defines Carrie’s bipolar condition as erraticism. “You can get some traction, but you’re always on undulating ground. Most people can afford to be more casual in general, but there’s a potential bomb inside Carrie, and she has to be hyper-vigilant,” she explains.
Claire admits that she’s not “particularly political”, but before ‘Homeland’ began filming, she visited CIA headquarters at Langley, where a senior female officer assembled a broad group of colleagues for a discussion. “It was pretty amazing — they answered all my questions really honestly and directly. It is just such a fascinating culture and career,” she says. “These are people who’ve dedicated their lives to doing this work. It’s very demanding and high risk and isolating, and, therefore, often quite lonely. And they can’t really talk about it with anyone, so there is not a lot of support.”
Speaking about her cast mates, Danes told Capitol File that, “I adore everybody I work with. But it’s very intense; we’re not whistling while we work.” Patinkin, who has been described as difficult to work with on past projects, is “just dreamy,” she says. “I’m in constant awe of what he can do. And if I’m nervous about a scene or I think it’s particularly tricky, I just trust that he’ll see me through. He’s a very strong partner.”
As on her temporary home in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the actress will head back with the Homeland cast and crew to begin a new season of filming, Danes confesses that, “It’s beautiful, and the people are almost unnervingly friendly. They have a kind of graciousness that I really appreciate.” And there is, she adds, “a great fried chicken joint” three blocks from home. “There’s a lot to be said for the Southern way.”
Photos courtesy of Capitol File