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Claire Danes: 'I had all sorts of exaggerated fears' about returning to work

Wonderwall, Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 1:01pm (PDT)
  • By Katie Mathewson, with reporting by Scott Huver

    When Claire Danes goes to work, she becomes one of the darkest, most emotionally distraught characters on television. Then, at the end of the day, the woman who plays Carrie Mathison on Showtime's "Homeland" returns home to a relatively normal life as a wife and mother. So how exactly is the new mom coping with raising a baby, being back on set, and maintaining a strong and healthy marriage with Hugh Dancy? Read on to find out!

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    Wonderwall: This is your first time acting on the show as a new mom. So how is it juggling your new baby and your work schedule?

    Claire: "I'm figuring it out as we go along. I guess I'm so in my own kind of cozy mommy bubble, I was very anxious about returning to work. I had all sorts of exaggerated fears. The biggest one being: oh God, will I ever want to work again? And in fact, I do. And it's been great. But the material is very, very dark, and it's so nice to come home and be jarred out of that state by this buoyant butterball."

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    Wonderwall: How will you decompress after all this?

    Claire: "I'll go join Hugh [Dancy] in Toronto and it will be my turn to be holding down the domestic fort. We feel so fortunate that we get to work in tandem like this. There was like a month overlap, but basically, it's his turn, my turn."

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    Wonderwall: How much do you rely on each other as fellow actors?

    Claire: "We're not very actorly actors. We don't talk about it so much. We run lines with each other, but beyond that, yes, of course, we're supportive of each other, and if either one of us is ... having an issue, we're there to talk through it, but it's not something that we revolve around."

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    Wonderwall: Is it tough separating your personal life from dark material?

    Claire: "[My character, Carrie Mathison, is] in a very dark place. I think she's having a harder time than we've ever seen her have before, which is saying a lot. But it is true that she lost 217 of her peers, and she felt responsible about 9/11 ... It would just be emotionally counterfeit to depict these characters now in anything other than a very bleak state. But yeah, it's kind of exacting, and it is fatiguing. But as I say, I have this beautiful boy. You just kind of go 'whee!' and erase it all very quickly."

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    Wonderwall: What shows are you watching?

    Claire: "I'm too busy making TV to watch enough of it, but there's a lot of shows I'm very curious about that I just haven't had time to really see. I tried to start watching 'House of Cards' while I was feeding Cyrus, but it was not going to happen. He got very distracted and wasn't eating. So I was like, 'Fine!' But I love 'Girls.' Nina's a dear friend, and I'm just a huge fan of that show. I'd like to see 'House of Cards.' I would like to see 'Orange Is the New Black.' ... I'm terrible, but I have the desire. I really do."

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