Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin Bring HOMELAND Home, Setting Up the Eighth and Final Season
— January 14, 2020
By BILL HARRIS
Special to The Lede
PASADENA, Calif. - There’s no doubt HOMELAND has always been a serious show, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t many funny moments when the main cast and creators got together to set up the eighth and final season.
SHOWTIME’s HOMELAND returns Sunday, Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. ET, only on Crave, with the series finale slated for Sunday, April 26. Stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin were among those on hand as the HOMELAND team made its final appearance at the Television Critics Association event, and Danes got talking about the enormity of the show ending, from both a professional and personal perspective.
“Look, I don't have any other reference point for this,” said Danes, who plays Carrie Mathison. “I've never made anything for this long. I had my family over the course of filming this thing.”
At that point, director and executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter chimed in, “Two of them.”
A completely puzzled look came over Danes’ face, and the entire room full of reporters cracked up.
“Well, no … ONE family,” Danes said, as the laughter continued. “Let's be clear. I haven't been THAT busy.”
Glatter laughed, too, stammering that she meant Danes had two CHILDREN, not two FAMILIES.
With that having been cleared up, Danes politely took issue with something co-creator and executive producer Alex Gansa had said previously, about how he wished that HOMELAND could have impacted the state of the world more directly, and admitting he wasn’t sure if the series ever actually changed anyone’s mind about anything.
“I don't know if I totally agree with you, Alex, that it's just entertainment,” Danes said. “I think it is, to a certain extent. But I do think it stimulates conversation, and I think it is unique. So I think there will be an absence. I will miss it, personally. I think it will be missed. But it is so hard to make. We had one extra season beyond what we were contracted to do, and I think we all had to dig pretty deep in order to produce it.”
HOMELAND has often been a controversial show, as is any show that dares to shine a light on modern international turmoil and terrorism, while daring to present different perspectives. Asked about some of the criticism HOMELAND faced, particularly in its early seasons, Patinkin, who plays Carrie’s mentor in the U.S. intelligence community, Saul Berenson, urged viewers - and reviewers - to consider a wider perspective.
“For me, it's the totality of it all,” Patinkin said. “I always ask people to remember it's not about a scene, and it's not about an episode. It's a novel that is 12 chapters long, times eight years, and to really be critical of it, or give any kind of feedback, you have to have read or watched all of that, and hear all the different points of view.”
On a lighter note, Danes and Patinkin said there have been some comic ideas thrown around on the subject of how HOMELAND might keep going.
“We do joke about HOMELAND: THE MUSICAL. We have THIS guy,” she said, pointing to Patinkin, who of course is a multi-talented stage performer. “But I would be a REAL problem in that production. I could do some contemporary dance … ”
Patinkin quipped, “There’s a LOT of dance numbers.”