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PopPolitics: Lesli Linka Glatter on How ‘Homeland’ Reflects the Debate Over the Deep State (Listen)

Lesli Linka Glatter
Courtesy of Lesli Linka Glatter

WASHINGTON — The new season of “Homeland” will see Carrie (Claire Danes) fighting the authoritarian tendencies of President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel), including her attacks on the so-called “deep state.”

Sound familiar?

On the latest edition of “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM’s POTUS Channel, “Homeland” director and producer Lesli Linka Glatter talks about how the show reflects what is happening in real life, perhaps even more so in its seventh season than in the past.

“The issues we are talking about this season — the world being off balance, that we have a new world order, and people are entrenched in their own beliefs — I think these are things that are very provocative ideas, but to try to outguess the real world, boy, I don’t know how you do that,” Glatter says.

Last year saw issues surrounding real news vs. fake news, to the point where Glatter said that she wondered, “Are we in ‘Parallax View’ territory?”

But, she says, it is one thing to reflect the themes of the moment and another to rip from the headlines.

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“You can’t try to outguess the news. It’s impossible,” she says. “And what is happening in the world now is certainly beyond anything I have seen in my lifetime, so you could never try to outguess what is happening in real life.”

The show’s production team meets with a group from the intelligence community for a day-long session at the start of each new season. Glatter said that at the most recent meeting last spring, it was apparent that “there is definitely a very different relationship” with the White House.

“Most of the people in the intelligence community, they have a huge commitment to America,” she says.

She said that the show would probably be different had Hillary Clinton won the election in 2016. But in creating the Keane character, “We made a very clear decision that we were not going with a Hillary clone at all.”

The show shoots in Richmond, Va., and the D.C. area, and that proximity has made for situations where fictitious characterizations run up against unfolding drama.

Glatter recalls shooting one scene in which Keane is at a hotel, “with a huge demonstration going on outside, the sign saying ‘Not my president,’ when down the street at Trump Tower the same thing was happening.”

“That was pretty crazy,” she said.

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“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 pm ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.