July 31, 2012
By Kaylee Hultgren
"Homeland," starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, is now shooting its 2nd season. The series deals with questions of homeland security, particularly the price citizens are willing to pay for it and whether that means sacrificing certain rights. Cast members and executive producers discussed far flung locations, portraying troubled characters and President Obama's TV habits at Showtime's TCA presentation on Monday.
On location choices, executive producer Howard Gordon said season 2 is shot in Israel, doubling as Beirut, though other locations were considered. “We talked about possibly going further afield possibly Afghanistan or Pakistan but I think we’re going to stay local for now,” he said. Last year while shooting in a part of town bisected by the ’67 border, Israeli Arab merchants were supposed to be properly compensated for the lack of foot traffic caused by the shoot—but that didn’t happen. “A fight broke out and Claire was hastened out of there with Michael Cuesta and his son.” “We were paying a significant amount of money to get our equipment off the street and back to safety,” said executive producer Alex Gansa. “So it was an adventure.”
Danes shared that over the years she’s learned to portray troubled characters such as Carrie without it sacrificing her happiness. “If I took my characters home with me, half of my life would be a misery, I think. I tend to compartmentalize, you know, work from my life. I’m not terribly method.”
On being invited to the White House for dinner and starring in President Obama’s favorite show, Lewis joked that he’s usually called to consult on matters of homeland security. He shared this anecdote: When he asked the President when he possibly finds time to watch TV, Obama explained that on Saturday afternoons when Michelle and the two girls go play tennis, the Commander in Chief heads to the Oval Office, pretends to work… and switches on Homeland.