I don’t know what it was that had you hooked on Homeland, but I know that, for me, it was not the CIA story… Not at all… It was Carrie & Brody love story that made me a die-hard Homeland fan and kept me at the edge of my seat for three seasons. Carrie and Brody made me, and a lot of other fans, believe in their impossible love with the off the charts chemistry Claire Danes and Damian Lewis had on screen! And, I just turned a deaf ear even when they gave us hints this may not end up well — think about Carrie’s “Imagine that!” to Brody’s “But we could be happy, couldn’t we?” or Brody’s “Maybe this will all end in tears….” and rooted for my favorite star-crossed lovers to live happily ever after against all odds!
Yes, yes, I know, I know, as my mom loves to regularly remind me “it’s not a romance, it’s a CIA show” I just couldn’t help it, I loved the possibility of the impossible love story. And that is probably why, even though I still watched Homeland… well, you have no other option but behave when a certain ginger gentleman tells you to watch… I feel it missed something… well, someone… Yet the show was still good at keeping you at the edge of your seat for eight seasons which I think is quite an accomplishment on its own!
Damian shared with the audience at Times Talks New York that he was told early on he would be a two-season character but since the Carrie-Brody chemistry did wonders on screen (it is all you to blame, Damian!) the writers were somewhat pressured to keep him around for another season. And as he continued to talk about how Homeland appealed to different people for different reasons Damian made a hilarious impression of those who genuinely watched the show as a relationship drama:
“They’re gonna get together… They’re gonna have ginger babies…”
OK, Damian, I admit you are talking about me 😀 But hey you have to admit I was right about one thing: They may not have got together but they had a ginger baby! 😀
Now, while some of us, per Damian’s spot-on observation, perceived Carrie & Brody love story as the centerpiece of the first three seasons… Did you know that the love story was not a given from the start?
Quoting Carrie Mathison:
Quoting Nicholas Brody:
“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!”
I really can’t! 🙂
Well… It turns out, early in the season, the writers knew that something would happen between the two characters given that Carrie’s surveillance of Brody — well, she WATCHED him in pretty intimate settings — hinted to some kindling of an attraction. Writer Alex Cary notes:
“We needed Carrie to empathize with Brody, during the drama within the drama of Carrie watching what’s going on in Brody’s house.”(source: Homeland Revealed by Matthew Hurwitz. 2014. Chronicle Books. Page 55)
However, the real spark did not occur until the fourth episode Semper I. In this episode, forced to stop her video surveillance, Carrie, being Carrie, decides to take a new initiative and essentially stalks Brody to a veterans support group meeting held in a church and “bumps into” him! And, the key moment of the episode is when the two end up flirting as they stand outside the church… and in the rain…
…And, Brody being the sweetest flirt as Carrie is leaving:
“Don’t leave me like this… All alone… in the rain!”
“Lewis and Danes had only one scene together in the pilot, in which Carrie debriefs Brody upon his return, and the mood was fairly professional.
So, the energy between two actors in the parking lot scene came as a surprise. The morning after that scene was filmed, Alex Gansa recalls, “I walked into my office, and my assistant said, ‘Alex, you may want to take a look at these dailies.’ I said, ‘Why, is there a problem?’ And she goes, ‘The opposite.’
I remember watching these two actors together and realizing, ‘Wow this is the show, right here.’ So it became clear that we would try to put them in each other’s company as often as possible. There was a long story to tell in this relationship.” (From Homeland Revealed by Matthew Hurwitz. 2014. Chronicle Books. Page 55)
Claire Danes and Damian Lewis gave us, in Damian’s words, “two broken-winged birds sort of hobbling and circling around each other” in Carrie and Brody in such a compelling way that even though it really ended in tears, it was a GREAT RIDE as long as it lasted. And if you miss these two as much as we do, you may want to re-live the LOVE with JaniaJania’s brilliant Carrie and Brody: Was It Love? Series or her Homeland fan fiction Another Turn. Or you can find out more about Damian Lewis – Claire Danes on-screen partnership in their recent Variety Actors on Actors Zoom Conversation. Cheers!