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TCAs: Claire Danes talks 'Homeland,' Saul, acting and...'Saturday Night Live'

"Homeland" actress Claire Danes plays Carrie in the

"Homeland" actress Claire Danes plays Carrie in the hit Showtime series. Credit: Showtime

Beverly Hills — Claire Danes, suddenly the most celebrated actress on television, wasn't always so. Or to rephrase, she has pretty much always been celebrated, going back to "My So-called Life," but getting gigs hasn't always been easy. Yesterday, she talked about "Homeland" — she's up for another best actress Emmy — and the post-"Temple Grandin" drought. And "Saturday Night Live" .?.?.

Carrie is off her meds again in the third pilot — what's going on?

Carrie is always sitting on, you know, her own personal ticking bomb, and it’s just an impossible dilemma because she is not great on the meds and she’s even worse off of them. But there’s a really great sweet spot, you know, in the middle of those two states that she’s always trying to land on where she’s, you know, exceptionally high performing, and we get to enjoy her process of finding that balance....

What to expect with the ongoing fraught relationship with Saul?

It’s pretty bleak in the very beginning because she’s gone off her meds for lots of reasons that she believes really strongly in. She does feel a certain level of betrayal and also both Saul and Carrie share an enormous and profound amount of guilt and responsibility for this loss.

You did once talk about leaving acting altogether — what was that all about?

There was a kind of disconnect and that was confusing when people really did seem to appreciate “Temple Grandin” and even my performance within it. And I think it was from a couple things .?.?. One, I was so inspired by that role and so challenged by it and I felt like I really had to push myself. I felt energized and emboldened by that and ready to take on a similar kind of challenge. And there just aren’t many roles like that, you know, with Temple, almost by definition. I didn’t have patience for regular old stuff. But it all worked out in the end.

Hey, did you ever see Anne Hathaway's funny "SNL" spoof?

I got a series of texts from her saying, you know, “Hi, um” “so I’m hosting ‘SNL’ and I really hope we can still be friends.” And then sent me a big bouquet of flowers. And this is all before it aired, and I was like oh, ----. (Laughter.) I don’t know if I want to watch this. She’s way too nice about it. I did get a little bit curious and I tried to look it up on my computer and I literally couldn’t figure it out, because somehow being in Canada created some difficulty. And then, so much time passed .?.?. But, no, I mean, it’s all in good fun. And actually, to be honest, I was very flattered, really, genuinely. To be parodied on “SNL” means, oh, boy, we are relevant. We’re in the zeitgeist. We’re cool, cool enough to, you know, make fun of .?.?.  

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