Curious about Showtime's Homeland? Check out first 20 minutes of Season Two here
After its massive success at Sunday's Emmy awards, Homeland is the series poised as Showtime’s future, earning the premium cable channel its first acting statutes in top categories and first honor as best series in drama or comedy. And it doesn't hurt to have an endorsement from President Obama, who admitted he was a fan.
Homeland's action focuses on an American soldier rescued from captivity in the Middle East who has secretly become a conflicted covert agent for the terrorists who once held him prisoner. British actor Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Life) is the kinetic talent who helps makes such an outlandish storyline seem plausible – leveraging a note-perfect Yank accent he sometimes maintains offscreen just to stay in practice.
Lewis plays rescued Marine-turned-Congressman, Nick Brody, as an earnest man who converted to Islam after befriending a boy killed in a U.S. drone strike while in captivity. As tonight’s episode opens, he’s a heartbeat away from being a heartbeat away from the presidency, asked by the vice president (Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum Jamey Sheridan) to consider joining him in a run for the White House as the new VP candidate.
“Brody made mission statement at the end of the first season, saying he wanted a non-violent political subversion of American policy,” Lewis said. “he would like to think He’s in control of his own destiny…but essentially, he’s everybody’s b----.”
The wildcard for Brody is the ex-CIA agent Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes – perhaps the only other actor on this show who outshines Lewis. Danes’ Mathison is an obsessively dedicated, yet-bipolar analyst who kept her illness secret for much of the show’s first season.
By the end of the run, she realized Brody had been turned by his captors. But her illness flared just as the Marine decided against blowing himself up with the vice president. After undergoing electro shock therapy in the final episode of last year, she seems to have little memory of why she concluded Brody was a danger.
“Carrie represents a sort of broken, slightly sort of hobbling West at the moment,” Lewis added. “Your country is rebuilding itself, as is mine. The glory years are gone, but she represents the best hope. Brody represents a strong anti-war message; the effects of war on an individual, how that can poison and individual and then poison people around them.”
But the best series ask larger questions, and Lewis suggests a ton of them have surfaced in Homeland. “Can nation states commit acts of terrorism?” he asked. “Do you believe they can? How do we perpetrate our war on terror? Was it justified? It just goes on and on.”