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

  • Pin It

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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/dianne-wiest-the-humbling.jpg
Two-Time Oscar Winner Dianne Wiest on the Lack of Work for Older Actresses: “I have to move out of my apartment soon”
Whether it’s because of the lack of acting roles for older actresses or if it’s because the shine eventually wears off on many Oscar winners, there are many once-acclaimed actresses who struggle to find meaningful work when they are middle aged and older. According to two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest, her lack of work in […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/jk-simmons-whiplash.jpg
A Conversation with J.K. Simmons: ‘Whiplash’, His Career and More
Simmons talks about his career in detail, including how taken he was with the Whiplash screenplay by writer/director Damien Chazelle and how much he believed in the project
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/bradley-cooper-american-sniper.jpg
Bradley Cooper’s Physical Transformation in ‘American Sniper': “It changes the way you walk, the way people relate to you”
American Sniper continues to heat up the box office as well as Bradley Cooper‘s already hot career. To play the role of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the actor had to bulk up quite a bit to make his portrayal believable. “I had to get to the point where I believed I was him,” Cooper says. […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/watch-al-pacino-talks-the-humbli.jpg
Watch: Al Pacino Talks ‘The Humbling’ and His Extraordinary Career
In this conversation with Al Pacino talks about his role in The Humbling -- including working with Greta Gerwig -- and his historic acting career
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/watch-oscar-nominee-steve-carell.jpg
Watch: Oscar Nominee Steve Carell Talks Improv, Auditioning for ‘The Office’ and ‘Foxcatcher’
Carell talks about his entire career as an actor, including his background in improv, how he landed the Michael Scott role on The Office, and Foxcatcher