Director approached Bromell's script like a stage play
The interrogation scene in “Homeland’s” “Q&A” left Damian Lewis’ double-agent Nicholas Brody exposed and vulnerable. Director Lesli Linka Glatter, nominated along with writer Henry Bromell for the episode, had similar sentiments when she first read it.
“When I got the script I panicked,” she says of Bromell’s text. “There was like 35 pages in the same room. There’s nothing to hide behind.”
Even more challenging: The pivotal moments when Carrie (Claire Danes) gets Brody to confess to a planned terrorist attack would be performed almost like a play, with cameras at various angles rolling nonstop.
“In take two I felt Henry grab my hand and it was breathtaking,” she says.
“I thought the take was 10 minutes and it was 26 minutes. No one was moving, well barely. Working with him was one of the great experiences. I feel like he and I walked in step.”
The symbiotic relationship Glatter had with Bromell — who died from a torn aorta in March — wasn’t necessarily expected; the two hadn’t ever worked together and this was Glatter’s first episode of the Showtime series. However, Glatter, who has directed episodes of “Twin Peaks,” “Mad Men” and “The Newsroom,” says this notion is becoming the medium’s norm.
“I know for so long, television’s been a writer’s medium, but we have all become sophisticated as far as our visual storytelling,” she says. “The days of ‘Dragnet’ TV are so long gone.”
Glatter is returning to “Homeland” this season as a co-executive producer and director.
“Every show I’ve worked on, I think directors have always been a crucial part of the process; we completely depend on these people,” says “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa. “I know this is going to sound funny, but we really like to hire nice people. … People who work hard and are nice to others.”
Editor‘s note: Henry Bromell, who was nominated for writing “Q&A,” died earlier this year. Alex Gansa speaks on his behalf.