tv Charlie Rose PBS November 14, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> oh, yes, i did. [ducks quacking] she suggested a meeting. >> ahh. [groans] >> i didn't count on john's prints on the tent peg, of course. >> [coughing] aah! >> it was rather messy. >> and that left just sam callaghan. >> yes. he broke in, silly man. [dog barking] i pretended to be asleep on the sofa. he tried to suffocate me. >> [groans]
>> i knew you weren't convinced by our intruder story, but at least i managed not to kill again. instead, i made a deal-- my silence in return for my moment of glory. >> i'll have to charge you. >> quite right that you should. though, i'm hopeful that a good jury will accept a plea of self-defense, and i have no real regrets. i'm, really, rather glad to say goodbye to jezebel tripp, and, you never know, once i've had a chance to digest the experience, it may emerge as a rather good book. >> we're done, sir. >> yes, scott, i suppose we are. >> i thought you might like these, if you don't mind dead women's shoes. >> what's that? >> dinner for two at sergio's. it was going to be me and jezebel, but...
>> well, you could--you could take cully. >> i've already asked. she's going out with the worst dressed man in midsomer. >> thank you. >> here we go. >> wow. you can write and you can cook. want to marry me? >> [laughing] >> well, this is a nice surprise. >> well, i thought you deserved a treat. >> you're not going to try for that writing thing, are you? >> no. no, it was useful, it was interesting, but i'm very happy where i am, thank you very much. i was right about the publishing world. it stinks, but i'm sure a jury will go for camilla's plea of self-defense. i'll do my best to back her up anyway. >> i'm sure you will. >> to camilla crofton.
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight we continue our look at "homeland," the television series, and a conversation with damien louis who plays brodie. >> this show continues to be a liberal show in that way. it's going ask the audience to ask hard questions of themselves. what do you really believe in? who do you back? is it justifiable sanctioning drone strikes knowing that there will be -- >> rose: what the drone strike did. the damage it does which is part of the public debate today. >> absolutely and especially our current president. >> rose: damien louis for the hour. next.
by the time you watch, this you'll have heard a lot of things about me. >> rose: damien lewis is here. his character is nicholas brody, an american marine taken prisoner of war and turned into a terrorist. johnny davis writes in "esquire" magazine "in sergeant nicholas brody, homeland may have given us the most problematic leading man in t.v. history. he won an emmy and a golden glove for his performance. and here is a look at the character. >> i was brainwashed. people will say that i was turned into a terrorist, taught to hate my country. i love my country. what i am is a marine-- like my father before me and his father before him.
and as a marine, i swore an oath to defend the united states of america against enemies both foreign and domestic. my action this day is against such domestic enemies. the vice president and members of his national security team who i know to be liars and war criminals responsible for atrocities they were never held accountable for. this is about justice for 82 children whose deaths were never acknowledged and whose murder is a stain on the soul of this nation. >> rose: it may surprise you to learn that the man who plays primarily american roles is, in fact, british. i'm pleased to have damien lewis at this table for the first time welcome. >> thanks for having me. thank you. >> rose: anything surprising
about that? that this american army marine -- a marine who is so much -- a part of this very popular television series playing an smern a british actor? >> i'm constantly surprised that i'm asked to play americans but i -- >> rose: this is the first military person, either. >> well, no. i think -- well, i can tell you definitely it all started with "band of brothers. and i was cast as a needle in a haystack. they didn't know me. they hadn't heard of me but they were going shoot a portion of it in fact pretty much all of hit in the u.k. and they knew they were going to use some british actors. i don't think they expected to find major richard winters in england. >> rose: yes. >> but they did. for whatever reason. i'm very happy they did because
it was a great and interesting role to play. the project was realized with such perfection and care to detail to truth it was like a social document and i had dialect lessons for that and i was absolutely conscious of playing an american and since then and right up to the point where i'm now playing sergeant brody in homeland i have had fewer and fewer dialect lessons to the point where in "homeland" i just show up for work and i speak in an american accent. so much so that actually i go to the grocery store, harris teeter who you know well from north carolina -- >> rose: shoutout for him. >> harris teeter is -- i go to harris teet on a saturday morning and i speak the girl there is at the checkout in an american accent. there's no reason for me to do it but sometimes i just wake up and it's because i spend the best part of half a year as an
american. >> rose: why does this series-- which had as its predecessor series in israel-- resonate so much with us. what is the conflict? what is the -- >> well, i have a -- i have a small theory about the sort of cultural life here in the states if i may which is predicated on fear and i think there's a tremendous fear of other here. which was brought home to floos a devastating and tragic way in 9/11. when america realized to what extent they hadn't quite got a grip of what was going on across the way there on the other side of the world and the degree to
which ans notys had set in. and i think "homeland" -- "24" tapped into that. "homeland" taps into something further down the line which is a fear and uncertainty of that which we don't know. i find it here a lot in -- i find it here perpetrated in commercials all the time. there's a fear of a disease. we're sold medication endlessly. we're sold the fear of political groups, different ethnic groups and different nationalities and i think people kind of like being scared. people like being scared and i think -- homeland has a pessimistic world view, quite a bleak world view that everywhere -- every institution and every individual is damaged but we make the best we can, we get on as best we can with those damaged individuals and those damaged institutions protecting us from those other things that
we know little about. >> rose: i agree with all of that. but it's also to meet much of it is gray. while there are these very strong poles of combat and conflict and obsession about the other, there's also the grayness of the characters. while they have strength and personality and they're made up of so many interesting elements, we don't really know where they are -- whereby the center is. you know that carrie is patriotic. you know that we don't know about you other than we know that whatever is at the core is strong. right? >> i think, you know, there's probably ban growth in the antihero trait. the flawed hero. i know 9/11 is a hook that we hang our hat on but it's probably safe to say the anti-hero, the flawed hero has grown since then. >> rose: "breaking bad being a perfect example."
>> quite. there was a time for gary cooper you know he was going to fight the bad guys and he was unequivocally good. now perhaps it's more complicated. carrie matheson is this intuitive, smart, dynamic woman who is at the same time damaged in many ways, partly to to her mental illness that she suffers from. so she's an unreliable narrator if you like. brody in his turn was a man who joined up to become a marine to go and defend his country, fight for his country as a result of 9/11, was caught, incarcerated, tortured brutally both physically and mentally and his life was never the same again. he was turned into an unstable agent. at times irrational, certainly damaged and i think certainly in
the first season -- in the first season represented the threat no question and everybody was terrified of him. what's happened to this guy when he was away? what is he really thinking, what is he going to do to us? and at the same time-- and this is the brilliance of the writing-- because we were also able to sympathize with a character who had been sent to war and whose family missed him terribly who was a regular joe with two kids a dog, maybe, a nice job before he went away, he represented -- on some level he represented every man. he represented the ordinary american joe. and yet we were terrified of him at the same time. so come that point toward the end of the season when he does the unspeakable, which are is strap on a suicide vest and insinuate himself into a situation with the vice president, you think "oh, my god, he's going blow him up, he's going to commit a terrorist
act." even in that moment i believe there were some people thinking "go on, you can do it. you can do it. you can do it." rooting for him. >> rose: why is that? >> well, i think they were very clever in creating a villain and not a villain. another complicated character, an ambiguous character. but the vice president who was trying to hush up the drone strikes, the way in which he sanction it had drone strikes knowing that it was going to be considerable collateral damage so this show continues to be a liberal snow that way. it will ask the audience to ask hard questions of themselves, what do you really believe in? who do you back? is it justifiable sanctioning drone strikes knowing that they'll be collateral damage. >> rose: and what some sympathy for what the drone strike did which is part of the public
debate today. >> absolutely. and especially with our current president and secondarily here is a guy who we have rooted for because we've come to know him, nicholas brody, and he can't really strap on a suicide vest and go and kill the vice president because he's upset that his surrogate son and these other children were killed in their school. but we have some sympathy for his -- for the motivation of the action. and that's what homeland does time and time again. it converges two or three different stories and because it gives you multiple points of view, you spend enough time with each character to understand their points of view. sol there's always a way to sympathize. >> rose: in a sense another way, too, you should hate this person because of what they do but we're going to want you to
understand him. how is he able to be the force of so much evil? >> exactly. and for me as an actor this is -- i'm never afraid to take morally ambiguous characters i'm never afraid to take outright evil characters but it's -- because the challenge is even greater than to make the audience understand why you act the way you do. and i suppose that is a post-freudian take on acting. pre-freud, of course, shakespeare -- shakespeare, of course, didn't find it necessary to explain evil. >> rose: he just did what? >> he didn't find it necessary to give a back story. he just presented evil. he wrote at a time when there was good in the world and there was evil in the world, god existed. there is evil personified.
>> there's also love in in between you and carrie. explain that to me. is it simply two people who know both are wounded, two people who need some small place where they might want to touch. >> i've spoken about them before as two broken winged birds. >> rose: i'm trying to get at how you see it. >> well, there is the recognition between them, absolutely. that they are damaged souls. i think brodie comes back to a wife he's known for a long time. their experiences are so widely different that there there is no place for them to connect anymore and he meet this is woman who sr. reckless and dangerous and has you see a darkness in her soul i think in her eyes but you also see something very heady and
intoxicating and which i think is true of people with bipolar condition often they're incredibly exciting to be around and having done research into post-traumatic stress disorder, combat veterans who come back from the war zone, i think's a sense amongst a lot of them, no one will fully understand what i have been through so i give myself carte blanche to really behave how i see fit. and no one has a right to judge me because of what i have seen. and i think they both have an element of that. >> i have earned the right to do this because of what happened to me. >> if i want to trash that trash can over there or the bus shelter over there, break the windows, throw a brick through the window and have a moment of rage and anger because of my experience of war, no one has a right to stop me or judge me. i think there's -- some of them there's that sense of
entitlement because -- none of you will understand fully what i've been through and i think he sees that recklessness, that frenzy, if you like. it's an exciting thing that -- when you recognize that in someone else and i think carrie has something similar and they connect there in something which is reckless. >> rose: at this stage does she believe he's guilty or does she not want to believe he's guilty? >> we're now in season three. >> rose: right. >> the c.i.a. has been blown up at the end of season two. >> rose: she has reason to believe he was part of it. >> i think she -- i think she is convinced by him that he did not do it i think she believes he did not do it. >> rose: and she's willing to trust her intelligence on that. >> what kind of intelligence? >> rose: (laughs)
>> her security intelligence -- you would have to say -- you would have to say that she should really not believe him because if there was a small element of doubt then she should be taking him in for questioning. >> rose: because that's what she's trained to do and where her experience has been. >> but her intuition and her love of this man or her connection to this man, this sense of a moth being drawn to a flame which they both have with one another allows her to free him. and to help him escape in the night and, of course, she does that completely off the book. so she contravenes every rule going and she asks for personal reasons which, again, is why i think it works so well. people in the end act for personal reasons, against the political backdrop, the intelligence backdrop. >> rose: in everything. in terms of professional life, personal life.
why is someone attracted to someone who they know is bad for them? because they can't resist, for whatever reason. right? and that's what they are. >> i think this that's right. >> rose: and you need each other. >> i think so. and it's a neat reversal of the first season where in the first season she was only t only one who believed he was guilty and everyone was going "he's fine, he's fine." now she believes he's innocent -- >> rose: and does love cloud her vision? >> you know, carrie -- i think you would have to say that love both elucidates moments for her in a way that it can't for the others and also is a danger to her. i think you would have to say both things. what's great about it is that they're very human, honest mistakes to make. in the end where brody is concerned she sort of works from the heart intuitively. that's not true of her all the time, though.
because a lot of the time-- like the episode "q&a" last year where she breaks brody down and convinced him to come back to the c.i.a. and i think we're led to believe -- i think we're supposed to believe that he is successfully turned back for the second half of season two. and. >> rose: we should believe that and that will be the appropriate belief? >> i think we're supposed to believe that but there are always moments in everything. i think she believes she has succeeded in that and she knows to use -- and she's ruth he is from that moment. there's no kind of soft soaping "brody, dear, you must see this the right way." she grills him and she grills him using all her skills as a c.i.a. operative. >> you never wore a bomb.
>> no. >> but you did make a suicide tape. who did you commit to? >> i didn't commit to anyone. i threw hit in the trash. >> and yet it wound up in beirut in a hezbollah commander's house? see you're drowning in lies! you can't keep them straight anymore. >> the (bleep) gone straight! >> yes, he did. but you're not like him, are you? you're not a monster. >> no. >> you r you sure you're not a monster, brody? >> i'm sure. >> rose: did the two of you talk about these two character it is way you and i are talking abouttor way i talked with clair about it? >> i think the answer to that is that it's different with each actor. i don't have a method that i
prescribe-- show up on set or in rehearsals and demand that people go through a process with me. it's part of their skill of coming together with a group of people where you know you're going to have to do complex and some intimate work and you have to develop a short hand where there's a trust and an understanding which is developed quickly between you. claire and i i think worked in quite a similar -- came at this in quite a similar way. i think we kept quite a lot to ourselves and trusted that there -- our commitment to the work and how engaged we were with the material, how ambitious we both were for it to be the best thing it could be meant that when we came together in front of the camera there was total and absolute commitment and focus
and there was and it was always thrilling. also, there was quite a lot that was perhaps adversarial about those two in the beginning of the show where quite a lot was being kept close to one's chest because even though there was a recognition ishl initially, there was also this cat-and-mouse game of these two sort of doves hopping around each other trying to work each other out and sometimes actors find that helpful just to therefore just keep bits to themselves and -- so there was a -- we never came together and went through lines because i think in a certain way we wanted to just keep that familiarity. >> rose: exactly. it adds -- the tension may add to the dynamic of the performance. >> yes. and by the way this is conjecture on my part because i've never actually spoken directly to clair e about it.
that was always what i intoed from it. >> how is brody -- you're so obsessed by the president, as you well know. but you did this impression, evidently, i heard about. >> no! (laughs) >> you can mimic him like -- >> no, it's not very good. i did ask him -- first i have to say it was an extraordinary -- it was an unforgettable moment to be sitting on the south lawn of the white house and to be sitting at the table with 400 guests and knob the seat directly opposite the president. it was quite remarkable. i was sure -- my wife and i were going to be sat next to the toilets and hit over the head by the revolving door. but anyway, there we were and no i just -- i asked him and mr. cameron who was next to him.
i said when do you watch t.v.? aren't you running the free world? (laughter) i'm worried. and he said well, saturday afternoon michelle, she takes the girls, they go play tennis, i pretend i'm going to work, i sit in the oval office and i put on homeland." >> rose: (laughs) that's good! and he said -- >> rose: just like that? >> yeah, and he's got a -- you've met him many more times than i ha?h he has a great sense of humor, he has a twinkle in his eye. i think he enjoyed being a mixed group of people that night. i had warren buffett on my left-hand side. >> i was there that night. >> rose: that's right. and he had a twinkle in his eye and he was playing the game.
he's consummate, he's an entertainer himself and he -- but that was it. so now i know, saturday afternoons. >> rose: you know one of the things i do like about him-- which is the same quality you just mentioned sds that when he does comedy for example at the white house correspondent it is dinner and he has his comedy writers and some from his own staff and he writes these lines and sometimes you know-- and i'm told this-- he hadn't really had a chance to work it out as much. so he'll look at the jokes and he knows what's coming and he falls in love with the joke so he starts smiling before he delivers the line. his own amusement at the punch line before he's giving it to you he breaks out in this. (laughs) and then gives the line. which is a kind of interesting quality. >> rose: that's quite true. do you think that preempt it is joke? do you think that ruins the gag? >> what he says is it almost -- i think he sets it up nicely
because he's basically said "you're going to love this." >> it's a pretty well used techniques by stand-ups as well. laughing at their own jokes. then hit you with it. >> rose: do you ever want to the do come economy? >> i -- yes, i do. and i have done comedy, but it is true to say that the things that possibly i'm best known for having draw plas. >> rose: and people or not? >> yes, probably people with a considerable amount of conflict in their lives. yes, i probably can't deny that. again, it's interesting to play people who are morally compromised. i just think it's like life. i think it's very like life to be a good person trying to do the right thing and often you
make a series of bad decisions. >> i think you said once that brody is a vigilante rather than a jihadist. do you remember saying that? >> i do. vigilante is probably not quite accurate but i think what i meant by it is that when i was off of this job over the phone a couple years ago before it started and they teed up the story for me, howard gordon spoke to me more than alex did and i just was very concerned that i was going to be asked to play an all-american boy who found allah and then became a terrorist. i thought these are slightly lazy associations and not something i would want to pander to give than there's a good chance there are people out there in the world who actually believe that's what happens. so i want to be careful that we don't pander to that level of ignorance.
so what they tried to do-- and i think they honored-- was to try to find a nuance in his faith, in his personal belief and i -- and i believe we achieved that and it means that they never successfully radicalize brody so brody doesn't come back to the united states in the name of allah in order to perpetrate some kind of terrorist. >> rose: he comes back in order to find justice for what happened to this boy he loved. >> he says he's a marine, he loves his country, he just cannot sit by and allow drone strike and the collateral damage of drone strikes to go by unremarked upon and of course it's because of his unstable, damaged condition having been tortured both physically and mentally for two years before they gently start to work on him
and manipulate him and tease him and massage him to a point where brody believes he will never go home again. and he makes his home in the middle east. i think he believes this is it. "i will never see my family again." and so there's this kind of feeling that i'm incarcerated but i'm free to be here for the rest of my life. >> rose: well, we now see anymore venezuela. >> they see you. you can't do that. >> i have to. >> he knows. he knows. he knows what happened. please, stop. please. >> i can't stay here. i can't. i have to leave. i have to go out there. i can't live here. (speaking spanish)
>> no aqui. i'll die here. no-no place to go. >> there is a place. there is. there is. there is somewhere to go. there is a place. the mosque. will you help he? >> rose: is he sort of at the same place where he never knows if he'll go home again and therefore there is a sense of drugs -- addiction to take him out of pain? >> i think the drugs are definitely a -- i think brody is at the end of his tether.
i think brody sits in that tower the tower of david in caracas, i think he has a moment to look back on that day that he enlisted and he said i'm going to go and fight for my country because this cannot stand. and he signs up to be a marine and within six months he's caught, he's incarcerated and brutally tortured for two years. his life is never going to be the same again. and i think he looks back on the last eight, nine years of his life and i think he's exhausted. i just think where did the boy go that had two beautiful little children, who by a babies when he left and a beautiful wife, a nice dog, maybe they were thinking about buying a dog for christmas. it was very normal and here he is eight or nine years later people doctor v dropped dead all around him. he's throttled with his own hands two or three of them. he's been responsible for sanctioning the death of one or two others and he's like a sort of toxin and i think he sit there is and he just thinks now
i've been responsible for two more deaths. the mom has been blown away, his wife has been blown away. what is my life? who am i? and i think he loses all sense of self and of reality and far brief moment-- and, again, which i think a very real dilemma-- i think he just -- just shoot it up. just shoot it up. just get me high for the next couple hours. i'll deal with it a couple hours later after that. but just for right now let me just get high. and i think he's a man who has collapsed. i think he's collapsed and. >> rose: where is care flee his thoughts? >> i think at this point -- i think at this point i think he feels a sense of bethey y'all. i think he doesn't know what carrie has in storm for him. he doesn't know what to believe.
he left believing that she had planned this exfiltration route for him and that she will come and get him but i think it becomes clear to him she might not know where he is. and i think that's the sense more than ever now we're in dante's nine circles of hell and i think he's descending those circles of hell and he -- he's not sure if carrie has abandoned him, whether anybody knows where he is. >> you need to leave. go out there. i need to get out of here. >> where? where you think you go? >> out. >> out? out where? >> to the next place. i've been taken from one place to the next, from here to there. >> you were nearly killed. >> i can't stay here. >> why? >> it's -- >> it's not good enough. >> no, i didn't mean that.
>> not good for enough for you. huh? why? because of that thief? he upset you? >> i appreciate all you've done for me, stock? but i'm better now. >> what does that mean? >> it means i can make it on my own. i just need to get to the next place. >> there's no next place! >> what? there has to be! >> no. >> does carrie know i'm here? does she? >> no one can know. >> we have to tell her. >> call her on the phone? huh? or better yet, a postcard? let me just call the c.i.a. and get $10 million. split it even steven? i told you last time, where you are carrie doesn't want to know. >> for you i think it was michael hilltick in the "l.a. times" talks about john he carry
and i'm sure you've read most of john he carry and singer tailer soldier spy and see some themes from that. john le carre. when it was smiley versus carla, now we have saul versus -- you see those names coming up from this influence perhaps? >> if you have a chance to talk to alex ganzer, the creater of the show. >> rose: i have. >> he is a -- >> rose: devoteee? >> he is a student of john la carrie. john he carry, of course, he -- john le carre, of course, he really new-mint it had espionage genre by daring -- daring to have a sort of literary feel with his characters.
so he dared the espionage lover to come and -- yeah, come and read my thriller, yes it's going to be turn the page good, you want to know what happens next but i'm going to take time to investigate the inner lives of my characters in a more literary novel kind of way. my descriptions will be slightly more literary. it won't just be bang, bang, bang. >> and my character will be more fully developed. >> and i think homeland certainly borrows from that and, you know, if we come halfway to being as good as john le carre i think alex would agree he'd be delighted. >> rose: i want to talk about you but a couple things that claire said about the relationship. >> they're star-crossed lovers. >> rose: and will be again. >> yes. and -- anyway, it's one of those perfect impossible loves. >> rose: perfect impossible loves? >> perfectly possible?
perfectly impossible? >> exactly. meaning that they are -- you know, desperately wildly attracted to each other. they should be together and there's no way that they ever could and -- >> rose: no way? >> uh-uh. no. >> rose: one more time, though. why are they desperately attracted to each other? because they have the same -- >> i don't think they can even articulate it. i don't think they know but i think they see -- they -- they recognize the pain in each other and the kind of disenfranchisement and the otherness, you know, of the other. and they have great people think for each other. >> rose: that's well said and perhaps right? >> i think she's put it brilliantly. >> me, too. (laughs) well done, claire! she gets a gold star.
>> rose: it's something that -- >> it's something that we were just sort of speaking to just now. >> same thing. star crossed lovers using the romeo and juliet analogy is a good one. her from two rival houses. the capulets and the montagues. she is -- you know, she is working for an organization that is supposed to be stopping people like him and not falling for people like him and he, in turn, should not be warming to the one person who sees through him the most and the most efficiently and should he put a foot wrong will be the first to know. so they both place themselves in danger that way. >> rose: here's what else she said about you. >> and i think he doesn't belong anywhere anymore. it's so heart wrenching in the third episode of the third season when he takes refuge in
the mosque and he puts the -- that poor imam and his family in mortal danger, you know? it's kind of delusional thinking on his part, magical thinking but, you know, that that was a a false harbor. not really available to him anymore. >> well, i think this is another great reversal to use a technical term in terms of writing thrillers. what they managed to do in this moment is they managed to make -- it seems as though he will go and find sanctuary with someone of his own religion, an imam, a father, someone that he can trust in and who will take him in and at that moment we get a rational objective character who
says this is all very well you coming to me, my son, but we believe you're a terrorist and it's something just to speak politically to this piece and what goes on in the world at the moment, that is something that is absolutely central to the discussion going on in muslim communities at the moment and it's what people say about muslim communities, why is this debate not going on. why will were you not condemned within your own communitys? what's so brilliant at this moment is this man, muslim imam, an imam says "i will not take you in because i believe you're a terrorist and you perpetrated an act of atrocity, it doesn't matter who it's against." >> rose: religion doesn't cut kit. >> it's a great moment. it's a great moment. i assume you-- you, now-- wanted to have some understanding if you didn't already have of islam number one, because you're just face to face with it and number
two post-traumatic stress disorder. you wanted to know what it's like to be overwhelmed by that kind of understandable impact on your brain and your emotions. >> rose: it's seine official you're going to play. i think it's important. people with existing conditions have, you owe it to them to depict it, portray it as faithfully as you can. otherwise everything you do and the shell around you will lose credibility. so, yeah, i read a lot of journals, books, biographies by people who had suffered domestic abuse from parents at home, people had suffered rape abuse, sexual abuse, what it made them feel afterwashington, d.c. it's all a type of trauma. and i went to the internet on to youtube and looked at what
soldiers were talking about. >> rose: in their own words. >> in their own words and the sense of helplessness they feel when they come home and the abandonment and i hope we will show some of that and get that and equally islam, you know, and i've -- i -- i did as much research as i could and i found the local mosque in london, not finsbury mosque which is where am bird flu ham tse comes from which was a radicalized person operating out of israel but the west london mosque which is another part of -- but the guy there was part of their p.r. so well open and wanted know come in and have a sense of what it
is and it's a big p.r. for them. they want you to see a different side. >> rose: exactly. >> and i was welcomed wherever i went. >> rose: you came from an upper class english family, yes? yes. >> you went to eaton? >> yes. >> rose: why acting? you could also say why not? >> well, i've just said that. why acting? i -- eton for those who don't know it provides you with the most extraordinary facilities in whatever -- whatever sort of extra crick lack activity you want to pursue. you can do it and you can do it to an extraordinarily high
standard, where it's art, music, theater, if metal work and design. it's part of what makes it the school it is is that it has all these opportunities for you and the theater was high on that list and i got there at 13, i'd already been doing theater as a younger boy between the age of 8 and 13 at my previous school. theater was almost very much part of the week and, you know, really i suppose i just did it. i just did it as a matter of course and i did it in the same way that i played football and cricket and tennis and golf and all the sports that i loved playing as well. >> rose: in my life as a point of reference what i am and do is much larger, bigger, more interesting, more fascinating, more satisfying than i ever imagined it. is it true for acting with you? >> yes. it is.
it is. i have -- i have chosen a life because there was a moment where it became conscious what i was doing and it was when i was 16 and a group of us put together a little theater company and we were encouraged by the school you had to hire everything off the school. you had to go and raise money in order to hire the theater, hire the costumes and so to all intents and purposes you put together a little company and we put on a play which we rehered and produced ourselves and at that moment in my life i was more fulfilled than i had been doing. granted, i was only 16 but it was enough for me to know that in spite of being an academic school i was not going to go to yufr university, i wanted to go to drama school. >> rose: that's a great moment.
this is what i'm near do. >> i was lucky, i was lucky. >> rose: and i couldn't agree more. >> rose: as competitive and as intensive as an experience of eton can be sometimes we all -- we were all sent there. we were sent there. you endure it, you enjoy it, you might really succeed. you might not like it. and i have friends who fall into all those categories. and we're all very close as a result. >> rose: regardless of where you are on the scale of doing it or not doing it. succeeding or not succeeding. >> quite, nevertheless -- i know i remember -- i do, i remember it clearly but i but what i was going to say is i feel a greater empathy for the people who risked everything because i was
19, some people were 26, 27, had already done something else but decided to throw something away to pay to go to drama school for three years and try to be an actor and i have the greatest empathy and attachment and connection to those people because of what they risk, because of the personal risk at putting yourself through something like that and the fact that you might fail but you chose toe do it and there that's an act of courage in itself and i feel tremendous. i feel part of that acting family as a result because it's tremendously democrat tiesing experience because, you know, posh me, you know, was in a minority of one out of thousands coming out of -- or maybe a minority of three of us out of thousands coming out of my peer
group and working class truck driving son of a truck driver from an estate somewhere, a project somewhere was also in a minority of one or two out of thousands and we come and we meet. now i don't wish to overromanticize it or be sentimental about it but it creating an arena where we could meet in a common endeavor which was just that we were passionate about trying to do something that was not the norm. from either of our backgrounds. >> rose: do you feel now that -- as we close this off, do you feel some sense that because of "homeland" that somehow it's gone to another zone? both the experience and the opportunity and the chance to fully use all the things that you have learned and thought about as part of the sdplaft. >> yes. unquestionably. i think i -- i have said this before.
i've been in successes before. i've been in "band of brothers" and other things but the immediacy of the response to homeland just exploded in our faces and it created a sort of white hot heat around it that catapulted us all, gives us a furnace of hot air and we're all still bubbling, sort of feet above the ground and it has given me personally and all of us opportunities to do other thing to be really dodd do things that are challenging and exciting and i have to say that's always been the case. but certainly it's given an impetus that has been exciting. >> rose: it gives more options. >> no question. >> rose: is brody as written and brody as performed and an actor
every writer shapes the perception of what he or she imagines. how do you feel like you have shaped brody and does brody give you a character to inhabit that calls on the best of you in a sense to work? he's not boring, uninteresting, unconflicted. he's everything opposite from th he is conflicted. he is changed. he is wounded. and he's on precipice of life and death. >> yeah, he is. he is. and tell me how you feel like you have been able to push it? >> well, brody is a character
who really since we've met him as an audience has been an extremist -- inextreme mis. inextremis. there have not been many regular days in brody's life since we've known him as an audience. living on the edge, on a peres sis which is a good description of where he spends his time i think the trick as an actor is to affect those changes in as minute and minuscule and detailed and specific a way as possible without him becoming history i don't know i can or melodramatic. histrionic. or melodramatic. the writing has been so good consistently through the three years that i've been able to do
that. as much as anything it's about being quit witted and this is a very shakespearean word that people live on their wits and to be wity is not necessarily to be funny it's to live on your wits. and to be living on your wits means that you are able to think quickly, spontaneously, in the moment and affect change quickly. n a detailed and sort of mercurial way. and brody, that's what i've worked on with brody and that by affecting those changes quickly it actually gives the impression of great ambiguity. because the overall picture is the sense of a man who is one thing and another, one thing and another, one thing and another. and to try where i can, i've been able to give the impression that you're saying one thing but
thinking something else at the same time. and that's just something that i have tried to perfect in terms of -- it really sort of comes down to listening, i think, again, which is really the by-word for any actor. you know, if you listen and seem to give the impression of listening or really listen then you draw the audience in and the audience will come to you. >> rose: i say that all the time. >> they want to know what you're listening to. what can he hear. >> rose: exactly. >> it was always the great power of de niro when he was -- when he wasn't talking, you you know, you might be talking and de niro was over here and the camera just came out and you -- just listening and looking and it's -- it had such energy to it that it was dynamic and i think brody
has that. this hyperalertness that he's had with him since the first episode of season one because unbeknownst to everyone else in the show he's had an ulterior motive. he's been on a mission. >> rose: and for those who somehow look at year three and they say, you know, it kind of comes slow out of the block here. is there a promise that this is going to be a creche sheb doe that they're moving towards? because -- yes? >> well, firstly i would disagree that it's been slow out of the box. i think it has been a different show, definitely, from the second half of last season. >> rose: i wasn't reflecting myself. >> no, i understand. i understand. and i think it's been beautifully executed, actually, and i