Claire Danes Talks About Her “Nutty” Parents and the After-Math of Playing Temple Grandin

Refreshingly honest, as she digs into the days as a child actor, Claire Danes of My So Called Life fame has recently been making the promotional rounds for her return to TV in the series Homeland where she plays Carrie Mathison, a bipolar CIA Agent.  Talking to The Wall Street Journal, Danes didn’t hold back about the new series, her parents and the aftermath of portraying the great Temple Grandin.

“They’re nutty”, Danes says of her parents proudly. “They’re just not stage parents. They were always really adamant that I have a life and have an education. I never felt exploited. I was the motor. I was agitating from the age of five to do this and they humored me and then it became impossible to ignore and then we all went to it. It was a serendipitous moment in that my brother was in college. My Dad’s business was coming to an end. My Mom was ready for a change herself so we were already at a threshold. But it [moving to L.A.] was all very disorienting and strange. We were all like ‘What? Huh? Okay. I guess this is our reality now.’”

Danes was also forthcoming about having to take some mental time off after her challenging portrayal of Temple Grandin in the 2010 biopic that followed the autistic woman’s journey as one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.   “Yeah, I did need time and I got some time and then I had more time than I needed. I was eager to get back to it. It feels good to be at it again. Fear was a big, big motivator [in playing Ms. Grandin], fear and appreciation. She’s so idiosyncratic. She’s a culture of one so it was not just playing a person but playing a galaxy. I worked with a friend who’s a choreographer. We worked together trying to figure out how Autism would manifest physically. And then I worked with a dialogue coach and she really did assemble a Rosetta Stone of how Temple would speak. I still sometimes revert to Temple speak. For months after shooting, any impression I did would revert into Temple because I had such strong muscle memory. But now I don’t. I’ve played some people after that. I feel cleansed.”

Check out Claire Danes in a clip from her new role in Showtime’s Homeland.

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