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Given the fact that most reporters in the audience had already screened the second season premiere of Homeland, the cast and EPs didn’t need to hold anything too close to the vest during their Television Critics Association summer press tour panel — but they also didn’t have to be as candid as they were.
EPs Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, joined by Claire Danes (Carrie), Damien Lewis (Brody) and Morena Baccarin (Jessica), spoke about the new narrative of the upcoming run of the Showtime series and offered up a rather clear idea of where the new season finds each character.
“He’d like to think he’s in control of his own destiny, but he won’t be,” says Lewis, whose character now holds a Senate seat while maintaining links with Muslim extremists. “Essentially, he’s everybody’s bitch. He’s pretty f—ed.”
Lewis also offered some insight into the way he played Brody over the course of the first season. At the midway point, Gordon and Gansa had told him Brody would be strapping on the bomb and blowing himself up.
“There was one sort of outstanding question,” said Lewis. “If Brody was going to act, how was he going to act… That was the final and biggest surprise when [he didn’t do it.]”
The development also secured him a job for another season — and one for his on-screen wife, too.
“You never see Jessica smile,” Baccarin said of her put-upon character. “This woman’s life is in shambles, but this season, I really love the strength that Jessica has found through being in the D.C. limelight a little with Brody. I think she’s found some purpose. Their relationship starts out in a good place but quickly unravels.”
Danes’ Carrie ended the freshman run at rock bottom, out of a job and in need of months of therapy, but the showrunners know that fans won’t want to see her humbled for long.
“The whole episode is constructed around somebody who is very reluctant and reticent to get involved,” Gansa said of Carrie’s premiere recruitment into a one-off C.I.A. mission. “When she finds herself there, it invigorates her.”
“She’s suffering from a real crisis of confidence,” added Danes. “She gets her mojo back, but it takes some time. I think she’s a little less paranoid, a little less high-strung.”
One reporter asked if the series would devote as much screen time to Brody and Carrie actually interacting with one another in the new season. This prompted one of the panel’s more cryptic responses.
“I think Howard and Alex have tried to create a similar pivotal moment in season two,” Lewis said of the character’s brief, ill-fated affair. “Carrie very much has an upper hand, and it’s less romantically inclined than professionally inclined.”
As for production of the rest of the season — they’re at about the halfway point — and a likely third run, Danes was also quick to assure everyone that her recently announced pregnancy won’t be an issue.
“This hasn’t run too much interference,” she said. “I think we were a little concerned, but it’s proven to be a non-issue. All is well, and Carrie remains fervently non-pregnant.”
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