Pin It

Claire Danes on Turning Down a Role at 12 and Doing Research for Her ‘Homeland’ Character on YouTube

claire-danes-homelandClaire Danes is up for an Emmy for her role on the Showtime drama Homeland.  The actress has already enjoyed a long career, including playing teenager Angela Chase on the much-beloved series My So-Called Life and winning a Golden Globe and an Emmy for Temple Grandin.

“I got an agent when I was 12, and I started working in more amateur productions well before that,” she told NPR.  “But even as a kid, I never felt like a kid actor, you know?  I always took myself kind of absurdly seriously.  My first offer was when I was 12, and it was for a soap opera.  And I turned it down because I knew that I was an unformed actor, and I didn’t want to develop bad habits.”

That decision has certainly paid off for Danes, who has often been praised for her intense performances.  “I focus on the intention of the character and whatever thoughts and feelings she’s having, and they seem to kind of naturally communicate themselves on the face,” she said.  “But I have to say that my dad’s face is very malleable.  He’s barely got any cartilage in his face.  I think I maybe inherited that Play-Doh-like physicality from him.”

Danes’ acting is also stronger because of the preparation she does for her roles, including that of bipolar CIA Agent Carrie Mathison on Homeland.  “I had to do a lot of research for this role,” the actress said.  “And actually, I found great material on YouTube.  There was a lot of footage of people who recorded themselves when they were in manic states.  I think they were probably up in the middle of the night and lonely and, you know, needed to talk.  So they talked to the camera.  So I gorged on sort of manic confessionals on YouTube.

“They talk at a very fast clip.  But, you know, it’s not a strictly unpleasant phenomenon.  A lot of people are reluctant to treat themselves because they’re so protective of those manic highs.”

The new season of Homeland airs on Showtime, September 30 at 10 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/bryan-cranston-emmy-award-speech.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Emmy Award Speech: “I love to act. It is a passion of mine and I will do it until my last breath.”
The Emmy Awards weren’t the most exciting awards show this year but with Bryan Cranston winning for Outstanding Actor in a Drama for Breaking Bad, we at least got to hear one heck of a fantastic acceptance speech. “I was a kid who always looked for the shortcut,” he said. “I did happen to stumble […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/audition-tapes-gerard-butler-aud.jpg
Audition Tapes: Gerard Butler Auditions for ‘Dracula 2000′
Check out Gerard Butler auditioning for the role of Dracula in the movie, Dracula 2000. The film, about a group of thieves who break into a chamber expecting to find paintings, but instead find Dracula himself, also starred Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller and Nathan Fillion. Bulter has some sweet rock star hair, huh?  
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/interview-matt-dillon-and-carla.jpg
Interview: Matt Dillon and Carla Gugino Talk ‘Wayward Pines’
FOX has a new limited-series that’s got a terrific cast and interesting premise. It’s called Wayward Pines and stars Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Toby Jones, Terrance Howard, Juliette Lewis, Tim Griffin and Shannyn Sossamon. The show, whose pilot was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is about a Secret Service agent (Dillon) goes to […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/interview-wayward-pines-stars-ti.jpg
Interview: ‘Wayward Pines’ Stars Tim Griffin and Shannyn Sossamon on the Show, Their Characters and More!
Griffin and Sossamonwere at Comic-Con where they sat in on some roundtable interviews to talk about the show.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/interview-m-night-shyamalan-talk.jpg
Interview: M. Night Shyamalan Talks ‘Wayward Pines’ and Why He Expanded a Young Actors Role on the Show
I talked to Shyamalan at Comic-Con in a roundtable interview where he talked about the cast, what he learned from working in TV and how young actor Charlie Tahan started out with a small part but as the story grew, so did his role.