‘Homeland’ to Jump Ahead in Time, Shoot in Europe for Season 5: PaleyFest

'Homeland' Jump Ahead Time, Shoot Europe

Carrie Mathison hanging up her CIA badge? That appears to be happening in the upcoming fifth season of “Homeland.”

During the opening session of PaleyFest at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood Friday night, “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa dropped a few tidbits about the Showtime drama’s fifth season during the Q&A session with star Claire Danes and exec producers .

The time frame of the show will jump ahead two and a half years from where it left off at the close of season four in December. “Homeland” will shoot in Europe later this year, probably Germany, after lensing last year in Cape Town, South Africa, which subbed for Pakistan.

Most intriguing, Gansa said, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison “will no longer be an intelligence officer,” he said.

Gansa wouldn’t elaborate on what he described as a “tiny teaser,” but a few minutes later he mentioned the importance of Germany and Europe in relation to concerns about terrorism and Western security issues. To the news that Carrie is no longer an intelligence officer, Danes joked: “She’s making beer.”

The session moderated by Julie Chen, co-host of CBS’s daytime series “The Talk,” focused on how the “Homeland” sausage is made, as the panel was largely populated by exec producers Alexander Cary, Chip Johannessen, Patrick Harbinson, Meredith Stiehm, director/exec producer Lesli Linka Glatter and composer Sean Callery. The only other actor was Maury Sterling, who plays CIA operative Max.

The conversation revealed a strong divide among the “Homeland” writers on the decision to explore a romance between Carrie and her co-worker Quinn, the ruthless assassin played by Rupert Friend. The male writers (other than Gansa) were against bringing those two together. Stiehm was for it, but the debate in the writers room kept it from blossoming (briefly) until the final episode of season four, which Stiehm wrote.

“I was a fierce advocate for it,” Stiehm said. “I felt there was something in the air (between the two) from day one.”

Danes was asked about the shocking scene early on in season four where a grief-stricken Carrie briefly appears to consider drowning her infant daughter. She knew it would be a dangerous move because it could alienate the audience entirely. “That seemed like a pretty real challenge to an audience. I don’t know if there is a greater taboo than an unloving mother,” Danes said.

As Gansa described the difficult shooting of the scene with an underwater camera to capture the baby’s perspective — Danes was quick to interject: “It was not a real baby — I just want to clarify.”

Danes got the biggest rise of the night out the crowd when an audience member asked her about Carrie’s infamous “cry face” — the bulging eyes and quivering jaw look that has become an Internet meme unto itself.

“I swear to god it’s just what my face does,” Danes said, blushing. “It’s just how I cry.” She noted that her skill at crying was evident even when she was a teenager working on ABC’s “My So-Called Life” some 20 years ago.

Gansa was thoughtful when asked if the show would address the beheadings and other unspeakable acts of cruelty attributed in the past year to the Islamist terror group ISIS.

“Homeland” is known for reflecting and even predicting the stories and situations that will make international headlines. Last season’s focus on Pakistan touched a nerve, even as it drew criticism from some for its portrayal of the country that has long been an uneasy ally with the U.S.

“Homeland” also makes an effort to humanize the antagonists in its stories, explaining the political dynamic from the perspective of those who see the U.S. as an occupying force in the Middle East. That might be a bridge too far when it comes to ISIS.

“Do we give them a platform?” Gansa said. “I don’t know. It’s an interesting question…We’re one of the few shows that gets to really comment on current events. We take that responsibility very seriously.”




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  1. Mark Kannett says:

    Love show. When is new season starting?

  2. Danny h says:

    We love this show because it gives us good insight into how our countries intelligence agency runs and all in all is a fairly realistic apt thriller, Carrie is a great spy and the show runs on that. The fans really like the last season with Haqqani and felt you guys did a great job at starting it over after Brody is gone. Now your changing it again? Carrie not a spy? No Middle East US relations plot? What about Quinn who is a fan favorite? I think you guys are making a big mistake esp 2 years later c’mon… We want a spy thriller! You should’ve just continued it from season 4 there’s always going to be foreign Criticism when dealing with out her countries…this seems like a huge mistake personally and it sounds like your dulling the show and it’s going to be boring. If so you will lose your core fan base you might wanna consider re writing this before you film Bc everybody seems to feel the same

  3. BA Pudliner says:

    So, that means you aren’t closing several open story lines. Who are these writers? Quinn is a very strong character and to even remove him from the storyline (if that is what you are doing…augh)…I’m sputtering here…as a writer, your weakening the story arc…your not listening to your customers…and that is what is most important…your viewers…you had a weak 2nd and 3rd season, only made better by the addition of Quinn (yes, I like Quinn, he is the most believable character, him and Mandy’s character)…season 4 came back strong, but now, you want to go 2 years into the future…okay…then you are really going to have to have a strong closing on those open story lines…and I am really doubting you can close it at all…in how many episodes…?????

  4. Muja says:

    Um does this mean Tasneem the evil puppet master who works both Pakistani Intelligence and with terrorists is not to be seen again? and what off the dashing Khan??? If it’s 2 yrs after the fact, that means Quinn is still out there or dead.

  5. Anshul says:

    I think you guys must think on making a major change in the story cuz homeland was abt the American POW who is turned nd now it runs on an entire different concept as Nicholas Brody is dead

  6. Hina says:

    If Carrie not in CIA how can the show work? It might not be as intriguing as it has been. Or could it be temporary leave/ousting something? Yes, Quinn & Carrie together can make an interesting story.

  7. mae says:

    what about quinn?!! i get that it’s ‘not that kind of show’..but that doesn’t mean that they can’t explore a relationship between the two. quinns risen as a fan favorite for many reason.

  8. Barbara Bengels says:

    What about Mandy Patinkin?????????????

  9. Sam says:

    Is Quinn even in Season Five? This is an extremely important question!

  10. carol kounitz says:

    When is the new season going to start???

  11. I think this is one of the very few U.S. shows that is really prepared to look at what’s going on in the world, and deal with the issues. Kudos to the writers – I’d love to be in the Writer’s Room when ideas are bouncing around. And Claire Danes’s ability to portray bipolar sets her apart from actors of her generation. She is truly talented.

  12. francis says:

    it’s gonna be disappointed if they don’t handle the IS Issue… I was looking forward to it.

  13. ezekiel says:

    put a fork in it
    its so done
    nite clairey.

  14. Jay says:

    Sweet. What about Quinn? They better not screw around with Carrie and Quinn, I enjoy that relationship. Quinn better come back!

  15. Jessica says:

    Why is she telling us???

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