Claire Danes in ‘Homeland’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress

For Claire Danes, jumping from movies back into a TV series, her first since 1995’s “My So-Called Life,” was not a tough call.

That was because once she read the pilot script for “Homeland” she felt she needed to be on board.

“They know how to lace the story with just the right amount of crack so that after finishing the pilot I was rapacious for more and assumed other people would feel that way too,” says Danes, giving credit to exec producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon. “I’m delighted that’s been the case. The success is a little overwhelming.”

“Homeland,” which is in production on season two, has been one of the biggest hits in Showtime’s history. Skein won a Golden Globe earlier this year and Danes was tabbed top drama TV actress.

Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA analyst who’s convinced a former American prisoner of war (Damian Lewis) has become a terrorist. Carrie is also on anti-psychotic medication, which calls into question her reliability for the covert agency.

“What surprised me is that she goes to such extremes,” Danes says. “I know she’s an intense, bold character but she go to the very edge, like the show does, in its entirety. She’s consistent in her total erraticism. She’s an unreliable narrator but very consistently saves the day without getting any credit.”

Danes says she did not know the full season one story when she signed on.

“I don’t mind following them blindly. They have not disappointed me yet,” she says of the show’s writers.

Danes admits to being surprised by the scribes’ willingness to take bold steps.

“They’re just so unreserved,” she says of the series storytelling. “Sometimes I think, ‘You guys, aren’t you going to save a little something for later?’ But you know there’s plenty more in the coffers. I love that kind of swagger.”

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