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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Linnea-Berthelsen-Stranger-Things.jpg
Linnea Berthelse on Her ‘Stranger Things’ Audition and Keeping Her Role a Secret for a Year
“Sometimes when actors don’t get the part, it’s not always about an actor being a bad actor; it’s about connecting to the material.” – Linnea Berthelsen Stranger Things is back on our screens with its second season, something fans have been waiting for ever since season one arrived on Netflix in 2016. Returning to the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/jonathan-groff-hamilton.jpg
Jonathan Groff on Playing King George III in ‘Hamilton’: “I rehearsed for about a day, and then went into the show”
Can you even imagine stepping into a role in one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time with barely any time to prepare?
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lina-esco-swat.jpg
Lina Esco on Playing the Only Female Officer on ‘S.W.AT.’: “I have to portray her as someone equal to all of the guys on her team”
"The important thing for me when I read scripts is how much respect I have for the character and how far I can take her" - Lina Esco
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/sam-rockwell-three-billboards.jpg
Sam Rockwell on Typecasting and One of His Worst Auditions
"I’m kind of a workhorse. It takes a toll" - Sam Rockwell
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/rachel-bloom-crazy-ex-girlfriend.jpg
Rachel Bloom: “The way that I learned comedy was not rigid, but this very specific technique taught by the Upright Citizens Brigade”
"I went from being a person who was doing moderately successful videos online and working as a moderately successful TV writer and aspiring to do this to having a Golden Globe." - Rachel Bloom