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- Claire Danes American actress
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- Alice Eve, Actress
Claire Catherine Danes
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Danes went to Dalton School in NYC, and New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies.
Subsequently, she also attended Professional Performing Arts School, and the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California. Starting from 1998, Danes also enrolled herself into Yale University to major in psychology. But, she dropped out after attending it for two years so as to focus primarily on her film career.
- Father – Christopher Danes (Computer consultant and former architectural photographer)
- Mother – Carla (née Hall) Danes (Day-care provider, textile designer and painter)
- Siblings – Asa Danes (Older Brother) (b. 1973) (Corporate Lawyer)
- Others – Gibson Andrew Danes (Paternal Grandfather) (1910–1992) (Dean of the art and architecture school at Yale University)
Claire’s mother Carla is her manager.
5 ft 5½ in or 166 cm
54 kg or 119 pounds
Boyfriend / Spouse
Claire Danes dated –
- Leonardo DiCaprio (1995-1996) – After appearing together and sharing some hot scenes in the 1996 movie Romeo + Juliet, the two were RUMORed to be dating from 1995 to 1996.
- Andrew Dorff (1997) – Claire briefly dated vocalist, Andrew Dorff (brother of actor Stephen Dorff) in 1997.
- Matt Damon (1997) – From April to September 1997, they were RUMORed to be an item.
- Ben Lee (1997-2003) – Australian singer, Ben Lee and actress Danes met for the first time during a birthday party in 1997. They started dating after their first meeting only. She had a 6-year long relationship with Ben. They finally separated in 2003 as Claire Danes found Billy.
- Billy Crudup (2004-2006) – Actor Billy and Claire were romantically linked for three years from 2004 to December 2006. Billy left his pregnant girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker for Danes. Billy, who is 11 years older than Claire ended his relationship with her, when it came into light that Claire is cheating on him with her Evening (2007) co-star Hugh Dancy.
- Hugh Dancy (2007-Present) – Since 2007, Claire is in a relationship with English actor Hugh Dancy. After commencing dating in 2007, the pair engaged in February 2009 and married in early September 2009 in France in a secret ceremony. Claire gave birth to their first child – a son named, Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy (b. December 17, 2012).
Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy
Race / Ethnicity
Claire dyes her hair blonde.
She is dying her hair since the age of 13 and now, honestly does not know her natural hair color.
Gray colored eyes
34-23-34 in or 87-58.5-87 cm
2 (US) or 32 (EU)
Claire Danes during SAG Awards 2014
Casio (2013), Gucci (2008)
Best Known For
Playing Juliet Capulet in the 1996 romantic movie Romeo + Juliet, Cosette in the 1998 movie Les Misérables, as Yvaine in the 2007 movie Stardust.
She debuted with 1994 American drama film Little Women for her role as Beth March.
First TV Show
In 1992, Claire guest appeared in police procedural drama series Law & Order for her role as Tracy Brandt in an episode titled “Skin Deep”.
Joe Dowdell is her longtime personal trainer. Joe never suggests her to overdo any exercise. With Claire, he only does cardio and that for three days in a week. That is sufficient for her as she also eats a clean diet – with all the real food.
A sound sleep, good exercise, and a proper diet routine is her key to a healthy body.
Claire Danes Favorite Things
- Movies – Fargo (1996), Footloose (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985)
- Fashion Designers – Alexander McQueen, Narciso Rodriguez, Zac Posen
Source – TV
Claire Danes during Golden Globe Awards 2013
Claire Danes Facts
- She is good friends with actor and musician Jason Schwartzman.
- She has two pets – a poodle dog named Ouija, and a cat named Fifi-Champion.
- Actress Morena Baccarin was her classmate at NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies.
- She was first considered for the title role in Lolita (1997), which was later given to Dominique Swain.
- Claire also auditioned for the role of Rose in the film Titanic (1997). She was also on the top list for that role. But, again this role was finally offered to Kate Winslet, which she accepted.
- She had participated in Gucci’s jewelry ad campaign in 2008.
- She likes surfing, gymnastics, and dancing.
- She started acting at the age of 12.
- Claire is also a certified SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diver.
- She is not on social media.
Did we miss anyone?
Claire Catherine Danes was born on April 12, 1979, in New York City, New York. For Danes, a passion for acting had come at the age of six, when she began studying modern dance and caught a whiff of life on the stage. Her parents enrolled her in a performing arts school, Danes took Saturday morning acting classes and soon landed an agent. In 1992, Danes caught her first big break when she landed the starring role of Angela Chase, a curious, hyper-intelligent teen in the ABC series, My So Called Life. But the network was not so quick to add it to its prime-time lineup. In 1994 she made her feature debut in Little Women, opposite Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, and Winona Ryder. A year later she appeared in How to Make an American Quilt. By the late 1990s, Danes’s film career only seemed to have an upward trajectory. She co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in William Shakespeare’sRomeo and Juliet (1996), had a major role in The Rainmaker (1997), and took on the role of Cosette in version of Victor Hugo’s classic tale, Les Misérables (1998). Danes continued to tackle roles in such interesting films as Shopgirl (2005),Evening (2007), and Stardust (2007), among other projects. In addition, she ventured onto the small screen, too. In 2009, Danes played the role of an autistic woman in the HBO film, Temple Grandin., which brought the talented actress her first Emmy Award.
Claire Danes attends TNT’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Height: 5 ft 5½ /or 166 cm
Weight: 54 kg /119 pounds
Shoe size: 8
Dress size: 2
Bra size: 34-A
Measurements: 34-23-34 in /87-58.5-87 cm
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Gray
Name: Claire Catherine Danes
Date of Birth: April 12, 1979
Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Place of Residence: New York, USA
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Education: Yale University
- Twitter: clairedonline
- Facebook: –
- Instagram: claire.danes
Awards and Honors:
- 2015 Nominated Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
- 2013 Won Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
- 2013 Won Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- 2012 Won Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
- 2012 Won Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
- 2011 Won Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television
- 2010 Won Primetime Emmy, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
- 1995 Won Golden Globe, Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Hobbies and Interests: Surfing
Favorite Color: White
Favorite Food: Fresh vegetables and salads
Favorite Music: Lionel Richie
Favorite Perfume: For Her
Favorite Book: Hills Like White Elephants
Favorite Sports: Tennis
Favorite Movie: Fargo, Footloose
- She is good friends with actor and musician Jason Schwartzman.
- She has two pets – a poodle dog named Ouija, and a cat named Fifi-Champion.
- Actress Morena Baccarin was her classmate at NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies.
- She was first considered for the title role in Lolita (1997), which was later given to Dominique Swain.
- Claire also auditioned for the role of Rose in the film Titanic (1997). She was also in the top list for that role. But, again thsi role was finally offered to Kate Winslet, which she accepted.
- She had participated in Gucci’s jewelry ad campaign in 2008.
- She likes surfing, gymnastics and dancing.
- She started acting at the age of 12.
- Completed two years at Yale University pursuing a psychology degree but never finished (2002). Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1997).
- Was banned from the Philippines for making derogatory remarks about the country. The President of the Philippines condemned her publicly.
- Once said in Vanity Fair magazine that at university, she is interested in psychology, philosophy and art history.
- Grew up in SoHo, Manhattan.
- Named Harvard University’s 2012 Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year on January 23, 2012.
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 24, 2015.
- As of 2015, she won everytime after receiving a Golden Globe Nomination. However, her streak ended in 2015 when Ruth Wilson won for “The Affair”. To date, Claire Danes has won 4 Golden Globes out of 5 nominations.
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Claire Danes was born April 12, 1979 in Manhattan, New York, United States. Claire Danes Age 40 Years Old. She is an American Actress who performs in Hollywood Movies and TV Serials. Claire Danes Estimated Net Worth of $20 Million Dollars. Her Ethnicity White and Birth Sign Aries. Claire Danes is rose to famous for Playing Juliet Capulet in the 1996 romantic movie Romeo + Juliet, Cosette in the 1998 movie Les Misérables, as Yvaine in the 2007 movie Stardust. Find Below Actress Claire Danes Height, Weight, Measurements, Bra Size, Age, Wiki, Bio details.
Claire Danes Body Measurements are 34-23-34 Inches, including Her Bra Size 34B, Waist Size 23 Inches and Hip Size 34 Inches. She dyes her hair blonde and eye color is gray. Claire Danes Height 5 ft 5 in or 166 cm and Weight 54 Kg or 119 Pounds. She has 2 (US) or 32 (EU) Dress Size and 8 (US) or 38.5 (EU) Shoe Size.
Claire Danes is the daughter of Christopher Danes, computer consultant and former architectural photographer and Carla (nee Hall) Danes, Day-care Provider, textile designer and painter. She has 1 older brother, named Asa Danes, Corporate Lawyer. Danes went to Dalton School in NYC and New York City Lab School & Professional Performing Arts School. Danes also enrolled herself into Yale University to major in Psychology. Claire Danes married to English Actor Hugh Dancy in 2007. Claire gave birth to their first child a son named, Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy, born in 2012. Her Religion Atheist and Nationality American.
|Real Name||Claire Catherine Danes|
|Net Worth||$20 Million|
|Height in Feet Inches||5 ft 5½ in|
|Height in Centimeter||166 cm|
|Height in Meter||1.66 m|
|Weight in Kilogram||54 kg|
|Weight in Pounds||119 pounds|
|Feet/ Shoe Size||8 (US)|
|Dress Size||2 (US) or 32 (EU)|
|Body Measurements||34-23-34 in or 87-58.5-87 cm|
|Waist Size||23 Inches|
|Hip Size||34 Inches|
|Hair Color||Claire dyes her hair blonde.|
|Date of Birth||April 12, 1979|
|Birth Place||Manhattan, New York, U.S.|
|Birth Sign/ Zodiac Sign||Aries|
|Father||Christopher Danes (Computer consultant
and former architectural photographer)
|Mother||Carla (née Hall) Danes (Day-care provider,
textile designer and painter)
|Siblings||Asa Danes (Older Brother) (b. 1973) (Corporate Lawyer)|
New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies
Professional Performing Arts School
|Boyfriends||Leonardo DiCaprio (1995-1996)
Andrew Dorff (1997)
Matt Damon (1997)
Ben Lee (1997-2003)
Billy Crudup (2004-2006)
|Current Relationship/ Affair||Unknown|
|Husband||Hugh Dancy (2007-Present)|
|Children||Son- Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy
|First Film||Little Women|
|First Television Show||Law & Order|
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Remember when “Homeland” used to feel so extreme?
It’s just been bonkers, right? It’s hard for our show to compete with the screeching absurdity of what’s happening in our actual office. It’s like escapist television now — like a balm, a tonic. It used to be a harrowing, dystopic vision of the truth, and now it’s relaxing.
Where do we find Carrie after such a tumultuous season finale?
She was shocked and horrified in the very last beat. She was grieving throughout Season 6; it was kind of a ghost story with Quinn as a dead man walking. And then she realizes that the president, who she had been so allied with and believed in emphatically, betrays her and reveals herself to be a fallible, potentially dangerous leader. So she’s once again on the outside looking in with some disgust and a lot of concern.
And her bipolar disorder?
We learn fairly early on that lithium, which is her panacea, her miracle drug, is no longer effective. Then she finds herself needing to save the world again, and she won’t have time to experiment with other medications in a sane, scientific way. And she is forced to use street drugs and self-medicate.
The show’s story lines often have uncanny parallels to real-life politics — for instance, a conspiracy theorist populating social media with fake news. How do the writers manage that feat?
Every year we spend a week in D.C. in “spy camp.” We all meet in a club in Georgetown, and from morning till night, we talk to a whole coterie of characters within the clandestine world who have real insight into what’s happening. And they are able to illuminate what’s going to surface as relevant in a year’s time. It’s incredibly valuable and terrifying. We have an amazing crystal ball.
Claire Danes earned her first Emmy nomination in 1995 for her role in the TV show “My So-Called Life,” and for the past seven years has starred as Carrie Mathison in the award-winning series “Homeland.” Her performances as the tenacious but troubled CIA agent have earned her two Golden Globes, two Emmys and a SAG Award.
On “CBS This Morning” Monday, Danes described the direction her character is taking in the series’ upcoming season, where Carrie Mathison is back to Washington, D.C., but without an official job.
“Last season Carrie was very strongly allied with the president-to-be (and ultimately president), and there was an assassination attempt that caused the president to be, you know, deeply paranoid,” Danes said.
Actress Claire Danes, the star of “Homeland” CBS News
The characters find themselves estranged – and Mathison, now deeply suspicious of the president, is on the fringes quietly trying to undermine her efforts.
And how is her mental state?
“It’s tenuous!” Dane said. “It’s her blessing and her curse. Yeah, we discover fairly early on in the season that her medication is maybe not as reliable as she thought, so her sister – she’s been living with her sister, her sister becomes acutely aware she might be less stable than she should be.”
Co-host John Dickerson asked Danes how she plays that hyperattention. “Well, it takes a lot of energy to play it convincingly, I have to say, but I think the writers have done a pretty excellent job of making that credible. Obviously we have to take license. She’s a superhero. There’s no way she could be achieving all that she’s achieving. How many deaths has she kind of thwarted in the seventh season? … Or caused!”
When asked how the show’s writers responded to the election of President Donald Trump, Danes said, “We were designing a season before the election had happened. So they created a character who was really a composite of a lot of qualities involved of people who were running. So had characteristics that could be reminiscent of Trump and Sanders, but she was a woman. That was a nod to Hillary. She was malleable enough that we could point her in any direction that became suitable.”
Staying ahead of events may be impossible, but the producers do rely on the intelligence community for assistance.
“This is like the great gift of the show for me, is that we spend about a week in what we call spy camp,” Danes said. “One of our head writers , who actually died about four years ago, his father was in the CIA, and his cousin was a mentee of his father and was a very high-ranking CIA person and recently retired. And in his retirement he curates this week for the producers and the writers of ‘Homeland.’ We spend a lot of time in a club in Georgetown and interview people in the intelligence community and the State Department and journalists, and get a really great insight into what’s going to be germane and relevant in six month’s time or a year’s time.”
On a different topic, co-host Gayle King asked about the recent push to expose and combat sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond. “We’re all having a moment of reckoning on the #MeToo movement. What do you have to say about it?”
“I think it’s wonderful,” Danes replied. “I think it’s nascent. I think it’s all happening right now, it’s powerful. It’s been a millennia’s worth of understandable anger, and we’re challenging this huge disruption in power, and I mean it’s just started, and I think we’re all just making sense of it. I think its great and I think it’s unruly — and overdue.”
The seventh season premiere of “Homeland” appears on Showtime (a division of CBS) on Sunday, February 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. To watch a trailer click on the player below.
Homeland Season 7 (2018) | Official Trailer | Claire Danes & Mandy Patinkin SHOWTIME Series by Homeland on YouTube
Claire Danes is glowering at me through a subway window with a look in her eyes that makes me want to confess to crimes I never committed. That face – the surly set jaw and stony scowl – is all over New York’s subway walls right now. And below it, in big letters, the words “IT HITS HOME” and “9/30”. This is the date that Homeland, the drama threatening to trump The Wire as the crowning show of this television “golden age”, returns with a second series. It’s the kind of TV that makes for a wipe-your-weekend-plans box set: the ending of every crack-fix of an episode had me twitchily reaching for the remote to a muttered internal monologue of: “Next one, next one, now, now…”
Danes carries the series as the bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, whose furious vigilance is hard to distinguish from pathological mania as she investigates, and ultimately falls for, Sergeant Brody (Damian Lewis), a Marine who may or may not be a terrorist after eight years held captive by al-Qaida. The plotting, which tips viewers back and forth between suspicion and conviction, is virtuosic.
We’ve arranged to meet in the poolside bar of the Trump SoHo, where women in very short dresses and very high heels are shouting in each other’s ears and failing to hear anything over brain-pulverisingly loud Ibiza beats. Danes appears – not unhinged-savante CIA agent, nor radiant red carpet celebrity but just an unmistakably pregnant lady in jeans, cardigan and a red T-shirt stretched taut by a neatly swelling belly. She slopes in, stops, and takes in the scene wearily. “Well, this,” she says, “is not going to work.”
We end up taking refuge in a corner of the half-renovated, closed-off library, which, a member of staff anxiously explains, “hasn’t been Trumpified yet”. I look at Danes and can’t imagine anyone caring less. Her characters have always had an edge of unease to them, and that seems true, too, of her own sense of herself in the world: the oddness of this half-built corner seems appropriate.
The creators had Danes in mind when they were writing the Homeland pilot, so much so that in the original scripts the character is called Claire. “So that was very flattering and a little surprising,” she says. “And a little alarming, actually – that it was a role tailor-made for me. I mean, I didn’t see myself in that particular light. When I talked to my agent, she said: ‘Well, ya know, you’ll have a lot to do’ – which was a bit of an understatement.”
Towards the end of the series her character experiences a manic episode – a difficult state to portray without risking cartoonishness. But Danes is electrifying, weather fronts of expression rushing over her malleable face. “I think it’s important to never play ‘crazy’ – you have to know what kind of crazy you’re playing. There are very few opportunities to play characters that are this rich, this active. It’s a filet mignon of a role.”
She’s signed up for seven years of it and already garnered a Television Critics Association award; she has also won best actress for the role at both the Golden Globes and last week’s Emmys. Mandy Patinkin, who plays her mentor Saul, has talked about her talent in words extravagant even for the realms of luvvie hyperbole. He recently told the Hollywood Reporter that he would die for her. “She is one of our great gifts as an artist… and I am one of the privileged people to get to be with her and learn from her every day.”
The show’s biggest endorsement, though, has been from Barack Obama, who reportedly requested four copies of the season finale. When the president sat next to Danes’s co-star Damian Lewis at a recent state dinner, he told him: “While Michelle and the two girls go play tennis on Saturday afternoons, I go in the Oval Office, pretend I’m going to work, and then I switch on Homeland.”
I wonder what goes through his head as he watches. There’s one episode in which the vice president attempts to conceal his government’s drone strike on an Iraqi school by claiming terrorists have faked the images of maimed and killed children.
“It’s very provocative,” she agrees. Before accepting the role, “I certainly had questions, if not reservations, because it is so immediately relevant to what’s happening in the world. I was concerned that it might become exploitative in some way. But I’m so impressed with how the writers have managed to tell a very volatile story without being reckless.
“The first time I realised I was patriotic was after September 11th,” she says. She was living in Sydney. “I couldn’t have been farther away, physically, from the event, but I grew up in downtown New York, not even a mile away from the towers. One of my friends wanted to have a debate about it, and when she was pressing me to take an intellectual position I just kind of barked: ‘My house is on fire!’ That’s how it felt; it just felt personal and visceral. Growing up in New York with artist parents – a very liberal environment, where we were always encouraged to challenge the status quo – I think for a long time I confused jingoism with patriotism. And that is a mistake.”
Danes spent a day with an officer at Langley, the CIA’s headquarters in Virginia, and that seems to have fortified her patriotism, too. “They were very earnest in their devotion to the United States of America. I was very touched by that.”
And then she switches from serious citizen to excited kid as she starts talking about what the real-life CIA agents do. “I was just struck by the fact that these spies do really spy-y things! They’ll get into a car crash with somebody – they’ll literally bump into somebody to initiate and then cultivate a relationship. I mean, in some ways – this seems a little presumptuous and it’s not entirely accurate – but actors and CIA agents are migratory and assume different roles. It’s very hard to maintain relationships when you are having to conceal so much. They often marry each other – kind of like actors. I mean, who else is gonna get it?”
She speaks from experience: Danes met British actor Hugh Dancy in 2007 on the set of romantic drama Evening, and they married two years later. The couple is about to move into a new Manhattan apartment, and from her hotel room she can see both this new place and the building she’s lived in since she was 18. A new address must seem like a minor change compared to impending motherhood.
“I’ve been fantasising about this for a long time. I want to know: who is this person?” She addresses her belly. “I just want to meet this little nugget! Who’s this – she, he – gonna be?”
When I ask her about the films she loved as a teenager, she responds: “Oh god – Molly Ringwald! Those John Hughes movies. Oh my god did I love her.” People talk the same way about Angela Chase, the sardonic and sentimental heroine of My So-Called Life, the teen TV series that began Danes’s career in 1994. Thanks to its appearance on Netflix, the show has been granted a new cultural currency by a generation of teenagers hungry for the borrowed nostalgia of oversized plaid shirts and velvet scrunchies.
“There was that whole resurgence of grunge, that 90s revival,” she smiles. “It was a good era – there was Sassy magazine, Daria – this whole crop of droll, knowing, wonderfully off girls. Now we’ve got very ‘off’ women.”
Was she a very serious 15-year-old? “I was, but so many teenagers are serious, that’s why they’re so hilarious. For a long time I was playing at being a grown-up and it was a slightly confused idea of what that meant. I was all,” she frowns and balls her fists, “serious face and phoney moustache. Now I kind of realise that the grown- ups never really knew what they were doing, and that’s OK.”
The irony of being a teen star synonymous with the angst of high-school life is that you never get to experience that life yourself. “I lived my adolescence on that set, with styrofoam lockers, in some abstracted version of a high school, so I don’t really know who I would have been in high school. I didn’t have a peer group to figure that out within; it was all sort of suspended.”
It sounds like she had a truly terrible time at school. “I was busy being misanthropic and miserable, as most 13-year-olds are. Wuh,” she exhales. “God. Yes, that was not a great time. Girls at 12 are horrid. There were so many intricate social rules that I just could not be bothered to observe. I didn’t know that you were supposed to dumb down. But I learned it fast when I made myself so vulnerable to ridicule.” After a certain point she just ran away from it to act. “It was such a relief, because I was so ready to borrow Winnie’s perfect words and just scream them out: ‘Fuck. Y’all.'”
She won her first Golden Globe for the series, and YouTube obliges with footage of 15-year-old Danes hunched behind the podium in her spaghetti-strap dress and making an endearingly gauche speech. A year after this, in 1996, she played Juliet to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s blockbuster. Soon after, she turned down the role of Rose in Titanic. Chasing stardom never seems to have been her priority.
“I’ve always wanted to play a woman who drives the story forward, doesn’t just facilitate somebody else’s story. And you have to be an actor-protagonist in order to do that,” she says. “I mean, I also like playing supporting roles, but they have to have some course to take, not just be insipid and attractive.”
By 1998 the extent of her celebrity was confirmed with a Vogue cover. “Ivy League Star” ran the strapline: this was also the year that she enrolled as an undergraduate at Yale University. Her two years there seem to have satisfied more of a social than an intellectual need. “I was so relieved at college to discover that people became much less awful – they stopped being assholes after a certain point.”
She majored in psychology and says that if she weren’t an actor she’d be a therapist. “Psychology and acting are very closely linked. It’s just about studying people and how they work. It can be an incredible discipline and exercise. I haven’t been in a while – I haven’t really needed to – but I’m glad it’s there if I ever do.”
She first went to therapy when she was six. A fact which, she protests, has been overstated. “I had these imaginary friends who followed me around and made me do things,” she says dismissively. “I don’t know – I was a little OCD. But it’s not that relevant, not that big a deal.”
Acting doesn’t seem like that big a deal to her either. “It’s not where I experience my personal catharsis,” she says. “It’s ridiculous what we do, and I find it endlessly amusing. As a young performer I didn’t know that you can have a great time playing someone in terrible crisis. The more you know it’s not real, the deeper you can go in to it. And the easier it is to let it go when it’s done. It means,” she shrugs, “you feel much more entitled to your happiness.”
Homeland season 2 starts on Channel 4 on Sunday 7 October at 9pm
Claire Danes American actress
Claire Catherine Danes (born April 12, 1979) is an American actress. She is the recipient of three Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2012, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015.
Danes gained recognition with her role as Angela Chase in the acclaimed 1994 teen drama series My So-Called Life. The role won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She made her film debut the same year in Little Women (1994). Her other films include Romeo + Juliet (1996), The Rainmaker (1997), Les Misérables (1998), Brokedown Palace (1999), the 1999 English dub of Princess Mononoke (1997), Igby Goes Down (2002), The Hours (2002), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Shopgirl (2005) and Stardust (2007).
From 1998 to 2000, Danes attended Yale University before dropping out to return to acting. She appeared in an Off-Broadway production of The Vagina Monologues in 2000, and made her Broadway debut playing Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 revival of Pygmalion. In 2010, she portrayed Temple Grandin in the highly acclaimed HBO TV film Temple Grandin, which won her a second Golden Globe and her first Primetime Emmy Award for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. Since 2011, she has starred as Carrie Mathison in the Showtime drama series Homeland, for which she has won two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, two Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, and the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama. She is married to actor Hugh Dancy, with whom she has one child.
Early life and education
Danes was born in Manhattan, New York, the daughter of a sculptor and printmaking artist, Carla Danes (née Hall), and a photographer, Christopher Danes. She has an older brother, Asa, who is a lawyer.
Danes’ parents met when they were studying at the Rhode Island School of Design. Danes’ mother was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1945 and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Education from Rhode Island School of Design (1967), an Associate of Applied Science in Textile Design from Fashion Institute of Technology (1971), a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College (1987), and a Masters of Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design (2002). During Danes’ childhood her mother ran a small toddler day-care center called Danes Tribe out of the family’s SoHo loft to supplement her work as a painter and textile designer, and later served as Danes’ manager.
Danes’ father was born in Austin, Texas, in 1944 and, after studying Biology and Civil Engineering at Brown University, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design (1968), where he studied with Harry Callahan. During Danes’ childhood her father worked as a general contractor for 20 years, working on residential buildings in a company he ran called Overall Construction in New York. He also worked as a photographer and computer consultant. He is the son of Gibson Andrew Danes, a former dean of the Yale School of Art and Architecture from 1958 to 1968. Danes is named after her paternal grandmother, Claire Danes (née Tomowske), who died in 1953.
The family lived in an artist’s loft on Crosby Street. Danes attended P.S. 3 and PS 11 for elementary school and Professional Performing Arts School for junior high school (during its first year of existence). Danes attended the New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies in New York City (the same school her Homeland co-star Morena Baccarin attended). She attended The Dalton School for one year of high school before moving with her parents to Santa Monica, California for the role in My So-Called Life. Danes said they moved two days after the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Danes graduated from the Lycée Français de Los Angeles in 1997. In 1998, Danes went to Yale University. Director Oliver Stone wrote a letter of recommendation. After studying for two years as a psychology major, she dropped out to focus on her film career.
Danes started studying dance when she was six years old. Danes took dance classes from Ellen Robbins at Dance Theater Workshop and acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute at the age of ten. She appeared in theater and video productions in New York City. Although she continued to dance, Danes said that her focus shifted to acting by the time she was nine years old.
Her audition with Miloš Forman when she was eleven led to roles in several student films. She signed with agent Karen Friedman at the Writers & Artists talent agency at the age of 12.
At age 13, Danes’ first big job was working on the Dudley Moore TV sitcom pilot called Dudley, which was shot at Silvercup Studios in Astoria, Queens.
Danes played a teenage murderer in a guest starring role on Law & Order in the season three episode “Skin Deep.” She appeared in an episode of HBO’s Lifestories: Families in Crisis entitled “The Coming out of Heidi Leiter”. In March 1993, a pilot episode was shot, when she was 13 years old. It would be almost another year and a half before broadcast.
She then starred as the 15-year-old Angela Chase in the television drama series My So-Called Life, starring in the show and providing voiceovers for 17 of the series’ 19 episodes, including the pilot episode. For her role, she won a Golden Globe Award and received an Emmy nomination. Despite being canceled after only 19 episodes, My So-Called Life has developed a large cult following. In 1995, she starred in the Soul Asylum music video for “Just Like Anyone”.
In 2010, Danes starred in the HBO production of Temple Grandin, a biopic about the eponymous woman with autism. She won the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries award. The film was well received and Grandin herself praised Danes’ performance.
Since 2011, Danes has starred as Carrie Mathison in the Showtime series Homeland in which she plays an agent of the CIA who has bipolar disorder. Her character believes a United States Marine Corps war hero is planning a terrorist attack while being tapped for high-profile government service. The series costars Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis. She won the 2013 Golden Globe and the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series for her performance. She also won the 2012 and 2013 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in Homeland. In 2012, TIME magazine named Danes one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Danes in Toronto, for a MuchOnDemand promotion of Stardust, 2007
Danes played Beth March in the 1994 film adaptation of Little Women. Although ABC canceled My So-Called Life in 1995, the show helped her to receive more film roles, including 1995’s Home for the Holidays and 1996’s I Love You, I Love You Not and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.
Her first leading role on the big screen came in 1996, when she portrayed Juliet in the film Romeo + Juliet, inspiring director Baz Luhrmann to call her, at age 16, “the Meryl Streep of her generation.” Later that year, it was reported that she turned down the female lead role in Titanic. Danes said that while she may have been considered for the part, she was never offered the role.
In 1997, Danes played abused wife Kelly Riker in The Rainmaker, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, as well as Jenny in Oliver Stone’s noir U Turn.
In 1998, she played several very different roles: Cosette in Les Misérables, and the pregnant teenage daughter of Polish immigrants in Polish Wedding.
In 1999, she made her first appearance in an animated feature with the English version of Princess Mononoke. That same year, she played the role of Julie Barnes in the big screen adaptation of the 1970s TV show The Mod Squad. She also starred in Brokedown Palace, and was subsequently declared persona non grata in the Philippines for racist remarks she made about the country.
Danes left her career temporarily to attend Yale, having made 13 films in five years. In 2002, she returned to film. She starred in Igby Goes Down. Later that year, she co-starred as Clarissa Vaughan’s (played by Meryl Streep) daughter in the Oscar-nominated film The Hours. The following year, she was cast in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, followed by Stage Beauty in 2004. She earned critical acclaim in 2005 when she starred in Shopgirl and The Family Stone. In 2007, she appeared in the fantasy Stardust, which she described as a “classic model of romantic comedy”. She appeared in the drama film Evening and The Flock. She was also featured in the film Me and Orson Welles.
Danes got her start in New York City theater appearing in performances of Happiness, Punk Ballet, and Kids Onstage, for which she choreographed her own dance. In April 2000, she appeared off Broadway in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. In November of that same year, she appeared as Emily Webb in a one night only staged reading of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town at All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. The production was staged by Bess Armstrong, who had played the mother of Danes’ character on My So-Called Life.
In September 2005, Danes returned to New York’s Performance Space 122, where she had performed as a child. She appeared in choreographer Tamar Rogoff’s solo dance piece “Christina Olson: American Model”, where she portrayed the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s famous painting Christina’s World. Olson suffered from muscular deterioration that left her weak and partially paralyzed. Danes was praised for her dance skills and acting in the project.
In January 2007, Danes performed in Performance Space 122’s Edith and Jenny. Later in 2007, Danes made her Broadway theatre debut as Eliza Doolittle in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, directed by David Grindley at the American Airlines Theatre.
In January 2012, Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals named Danes their 2012 Woman of the Year.
In March 2016, Danes performed in Dry Powder by Sarah Burgess at The Public Theater, starring alongside John Krasinski, Hank Azaria and Sanjit De Silva. The play was directed by Thomas Kail.
Danes at the 2012 Time 100
In 1997, Danes wrote an introduction to Neil Gaiman’s Death: The Time of Your Life.
In 2012, Danes’ audiobook recording of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was released at Audible.com. Her performance won the 2013 Audie Award for fiction.
She hosted the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.
Personal life and charity work
Before she had her first kiss in real life, she had her first on-screen one in an episode of My So-Called Life.
She has been in therapy since the age of six, and considers it “…a helpful tool and a luxury to self-reflect and get some insight”.
Danes met Australian singer Ben Lee at her birthday party in 1997. They dated for almost six years before their relationship ended in 2003. In 2004, Danes began a relationship with former Princess Mononoke and Stage Beauty co-star Billy Crudup that lasted until 2006. The relationship garnered much negative press, as Crudup left actress Mary-Louise Parker while she was pregnant with his son.
Danes met actor Hugh Dancy on the set of Evening in 2006 in Newport, Rhode Island. They began dating and announced their engagement in February 2009. They married in France in a secret ceremony in late August or early September 2009. They have one child, a son named Cyrus (born 2012). They live in the West Village neighborhood of New York City.
Danes and her mother are supporters of the charity Afghan Hands, which helps women in Afghanistan gain independence, education, and livable wages. Danes is also a long time supporter of Donorschoose.org, a website that allows public school teachers to create project requests. Donors then choose what projects inspire them, and help to fund those projects.
In 2015, Danes was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Danes considers herself a feminist, and has been critical of female underrepresentation within Hollywood.
|1994||Little Women||Beth March|
|1995||How to Make an American Quilt||Glady Jo Cleary|
|1995||Home for the Holidays||Kitt Larson|
|1996||I Love You, I Love You Not||Daisy / Young Nana|
|1996||To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday||Rachel Lewis|
|1996||Romeo + Juliet||Juliet Capulet|
|1997||The Rainmaker||Kelly Riker|
|1999||The Mod Squad||Julie Barnes|
|1999||Brokedown Palace||Alice Marano|
|1999||Princess Mononoke||San||Voice (English dub)|
|2002||Igby Goes Down||Sookie Sapperstein|
|2002||The Hours||Julia Vaughan|
|2003||It’s All About Love||Elena|
|2003||The Rage in Placid Lake||Girl at seminar|
|2003||Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines||Kate Brewster|
|2005||The Family Stone||Julie Morton|
|2008||Me and Orson Welles||Sonja Jones|
|2013||As Cool as I Am||Lainee Diamond|
|1992||Law & Order||Tracy Brandt||Episode: “Skin Deep”|
|1994||Lifestories: Families in Crisis||Katie Leiter||Episode: “More Than Friends: The Coming Out of Heidi Leiter”|
|1994–1995||My So-Called Life||Angela Chase||Lead role (19 episodes)|
|1997||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: “Claire Danes/Mariah Carey”|
|2010||Temple Grandin||Temple Grandin||Movie|
|2011–present||Homeland||Carrie Mathison||Lead role|
|2015||Master of None||Nina Stanton||Episode: “The Other Man”|
|2017||Portlandia||Joan||Episode: “The Storytellers”|
|2000||The Vagina Monologues||Westside Theatre|
|2005||Christina Olson: American Model||Christina Olson||Performance Space 122|
|2007||Edith and Jenny||Edith||Performance Space 122|
|2007||Pygmalion||Eliza Doolittle||American Airlines Theatre|
|2016||Dry Powder||Jenny||The Public Theater|
Awards and nominations
|1994||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||My So-Called Life||Won|
|1994||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|1994||Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Supporting Actress||Little Women||Nominated|
|1994||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance by a Young Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1994||Best Performance by a Youth Ensemble in a Television Series||My So-Called Life||Won|
|1995||Best Young Leading Actress – Feature Film||Home for the Holidays||Nominated|
|1996||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actress – Romance||Romeo + Juliet||Won|
|1996||London Film Critics Circle||Actress of the Year||Won|
|1996||MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Won|
|1996||Best Kiss (Shared with Leonardo DiCaprio)||Nominated|
|1996||Best On-Screen Duo (Shared with Leonardo DiCaprio)||Nominated|
|1996||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress||To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (tie)||Won|
|2002||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||The Hours||Nominated|
|2005||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Shopgirl||Nominated|
|2005||St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association||Best Actress||Nominated|
|2010||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie||Temple Grandin||Won|
|2010||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Won|
|2010||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Won|
|2010||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Won|
|2011||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Television Series: Drama||Homeland||Won|
|2012||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series: Drama||Won|
|2012||Critics’ Choice Television Awards||Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Won|
|2012||TCA Awards||Individual Achievement in Drama||Won|
|2012||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Won|
|2012||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Television Series: Drama||Won|
|2013||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series Drama||Won|
|2013||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|2013||Critics’ Choice Television Awards||Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2013||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Won|
|2014||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2014||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2015||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2015||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actress – Television Series: Drama||Nominated|
|2015||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2015||Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Television Series: Drama||Won|
|2016||Screen Actors Guild||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2016||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2016||People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Premium Cable TV Actress||Nominated|
|2017||People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Premium Series Actress||Nominated|
Alice Eve, Actress
I’m friends with Cassandra Grey, who has Violet Grey. She always tells me what the good makeup is. The most recent one that I’m obsessed with is the Tom Ford Shutter Lash Mascara. It just goes on in such a nice, sexy, wet look. It’s really classic mascara. I only use Armani foundations or tinted moisturizers because they don’t have any of the ingredients that block pores—even though I have dry skin, I can break out. I use the Luminescent Color Control Bright Moisturizer from Armani. I always rotate my blush, but at the moment I’m using a Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact. And I love the Charlotte Tilbury palette called Filmstar Bronze and Glow with the brown and the shimmer. It’s a little bit of what you’d use for contouring, but it’s not really contouring. I was using the Tom Ford liquid liner for the top lid, but I’ve moved on to Stila Waterproof Liquid Liner, which I read about in the Sunday Times. It’s not a brush, it’s a little applicator which has a little more precision. The brush seems to flick out a bit if I do something wrong, but that’s so not the case . I use the Glossier Boy Brow, and then I have many lip glosses and lips. I am at the moment using the Maybelline—I mean, I know everyone has these sort of permanent lipsticks now, but my favorite one is still Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink. You put this on in the morning, and it just stays on all day. It’s so great. I’ve always used Guerlain powders. It’s sort of a reflective, translucent powder, and I use it as the final thing I put on my face. I use the Meteorites in Medium—it’s just so pretty. Everything about Guerlain is pretty. I’ve been enjoying my Tarte full-coverage concealer—I quite like a thick concealer. You use a tiny bit of it, but it’s really good. I might even re-purchase it. I used to go to India a lot, and the eyeliner there is so rich. I used to be so confused to how the ladies got that effect on their eyes, because I couldn’t buy that stuff anywhere . I was researching online, and they have this company that does this eyeliner that goes on wet look, and it’s for the waterline. It just stays on, and you can leave it on—if you’re on holiday, you can get in and out of the sea, and it looks better and better all day. It’s super smudgy, so you have to be careful with it. It has almost that doughy quality. It’s called Biotique Kaajal, the traditional Ayurvedic one. It’s my favorite one.
I go through phases, and the look stays the same for the face. Like, I’ll stay in a phase, lose that thing or forget about it, and move on to a completely different thing. Already this year I’ve had red hair and bangs, when I was in New York, and when you have red hair you have to do something else. It’s not the same life as having blonde hair—you have to think of your clothes differently, you’ve got to find different lipsticks. I like the changes forces you to make—I’m not super attached. I played a younger Emma Thompson in Men in Black 3, and I said something about what they wanted to do my hair, and she said, ‘Oh darling, let them do anything, I have no relationship with my hair whatsoever.’ I thought it was such good advice, because as an actor, you can’t be attached to your physicality. You’ve got to be willing to change it—whether it’s gain weight, lose weight, change your hair, change your eyebrows. You really change yourself. I did a film with my brother which was set in the ’30s, and I dyed my eyebrows like Rihanna in that Vogue cover recently—they looked pencil thin, like ’30s brows.
I try and wash my hair as much as possible. I’ve been surfing a lot this summer, and been washing it a bit more because there’s sand in it. If I train, I have to wash it, because I sweat. I use Aveeno—I like to use really simple hair stuff. I have a lot of hair, and because it goes all over me I don’t want to have too many chemicals. I use Aveeno shampoo and conditioner, because it’s kind of pure ingredients. I have a lot of hair and it kind of takes care of itself. I don’t have to put too much time or effort into it. Sometimes I’ll put an oil and leave it for a day, so it stays moisturized. But I don’t pay that much attention to my hair. I think that my natural hair is blonde with middle parting, so when I get to that after I’ve done a job then it’s like, ‘Alright, I look boring now, maybe I’ll change it.’ But I do try and keep my color up to date, and try not to have too many roots…but now I have loads of roots, so!
I really like Aesop and Kiehl’s. The Aesop Body Balm smells so nice, and the Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is good too. I did Sex and the City 2, and Sarah Jessica Parker is very knowledgeable about all her beauty stuff. She was obsessed with exfoliating her heels. I do that a lot now, because I always want my heels to be smooth. And then sometimes I’ll put on Bio Oil—if I’m in a rush, I’ll put Bio Oil all over in the shower, while I’m wet. I’ll stand there for a second, and then put the towel on—I feel like I’m moisturized, like I’ve done it. I’ve been loyal to Bond No. 9 Saks Fifth Avenue for about eight years. I feel like that’s been a really good relationship. I’m obsessed with perfume—if I had another job, it would be as a nose in Paris. The other thing I love is Nuxe—it has a nice smell to it. If I’m on holiday, I don’t like wearing perfume at the beach, so I’ll just wear a body oil that smells nice. Recently, I felt like I just had to change , so I went to this shop in Soho in New York, and I smelled this perfume , but then I couldn’t remember the name or who made it. I was looking around for it for ages, and then I went to Liberty, and they just had brought this new perfume in by this company called DS and Durga. They have one called Durga, which I guess is their namesake. I wore it for three weeks, and I don’t think anyone noticed or smelled it or anything, and I just was like, ‘Maybe this perfume isn’t working for me.’ Then finally one day a woman was like, ‘I like your perfume!’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, thanks so much!’ I have to have gardenia—I need something with a slight sweetness, but now that I’m older the sweetness has to be a bit less. And I do like something musky, or oaky, but not an oud. That one doesn’t work for me so much. I like it to have levels—to be sort of bright, and then have something more.”
—as told to ITG
Alice Eve photographed by David Cortes in Los Angeles on August 8, 2018.
Getty Images Claire Danes showed up on the Emmys red carpet with a fresh faced beauty that BAZAAR just had to get the full story on. Makeup artist Matin Maulawizada created a “light, beautiful makeup look” for the actress. Get the inspiration and the how-to below.
Harper’s BAZAAR: What was the inspiration for the beauty look?
Matin Maulawizada: The dress! It was Armani Privé with the paillettes covered in tulle. It shimmered otherworldly, so I thought a light beautiful make up would be perfect for it.
HB: How did you work with the gown?
MM: I liked the play of matte and shimmer in the dress.
HB: What kind of input did Claire give?
MM: She was a little reluctant about my determination of orangy lip but when she saw it on she loved it.
HB: What was your color scheme?
MM: Pale shimmer on the eyes and matte everything else with focus on her lips.
Finally, see how to get the look:
FACE: Flawless, matte skin with illuminated cheeks
1. Maulawizada first prepped Danes’ under-eye area using Laura Mercier Repair Eye Serum, ($82).
2. He then massaged Danes’ skin using Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, ($32) to create an even canvas for makeup application.
3. Next, he applied Laura Mercier Oil Free Suprême Foundation in Golden Beige, ($45) all over Danes’ face and Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, ($45) along her jawline.
4. He created a natural flush of colour by applying Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Sunrise, ($24) to Danes’ cheeks.
5. He created an illuminated glow by applying Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Sterling and Sugar Frost, ($26/each) to Danes’ cheekbones.
6. To ensure Danes’ makeup stayed in place all night, he set the look with Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder in Translucent, ($34).
LIPS: Bright, matte lips
1. Maulawizada created the dramatic lip using Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Weightless Lip Colour in Mod, ($24).
EYES: Subtle shimmer contrasts a matte face
1. Maulawizada applied Laura Mercier Tightline Cake Eye Liner in Black Ebony, ($23) and Laura Mercier Créme Eye Liner in Noir, ($22) to Danes’ lashline.
2. Next, he blended Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Sterling and Sugar Frost, ($26/each) and applied them all over Danes’ lids, up to her brows.
3. Maulawizada created the final touch of glamour by applying Laura Mercier Faux Lash Mascara, ($24).
Courtesy of Teakwood Lane Productions
When Claire Danes returns to the screen this Sunday for Homeland’s sixth season, we find her character refreshingly at ease. She has traded the pressure cooker of the CIA for a legal-aid practice, with light-flooded offices seemingly tailor-made for well-being. She and her young ginger-haired daughter, Franny, have taken up roost in a quiet Brooklyn brownstone. And when an old friend and a new president each struggle to find their footing, it’s the once-volatile Carrie Mathison who provides a steadying force. If the actress’s hypermobile expressions have captivated audiences over the roller coaster of the show, here you get the sense that they’re just gearing up for the ride to come: a gently furrowed brow kicked up a notch in an argument, or a forehead set into motion in a dim interrogation room. As the plot twists, so will her gymnastic countenance.
The world of pop culture is gleefully banking on it. In recent years, Claire Danes’s “cry face” has served as a rallying point for the My So-Called Life generation and a chin-quivering meme; her “tour de face” even got special mention on Saturday Night Live’s Homeland parody, with the incredulously delivered line: “It’s like her whole face is chewing gum!” Danes herself asserted as much in an interview, acknowledging her “rubbery features.” The level of emotional transparency she brings to the table is a fine tool for artistry, if not for deception. “I would be a terrible CIA officer in real life,” she explained.
With a politically charged debut of another sort scheduled for next week at the U.S. Capitol building, it seems like the right time to re-examine the value of expression lines; some concerned citizens might already have taken to binge-watching their own in the mirror. But in an age—or should we say ageless?—of Botox, where widely used neurotoxins mute muscle contractions with the goal of forestalling wrinkles, what else are we set to lose besides those finely etched lines?
“The ability to read facial expressions is one of the most sophisticated and evolutionarily critical things that the human brain can do,” explains David T. Neal, Ph.D., a psychology and consumer-behavior expert currently in residence at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, who has studied cognitive science and perception. The biological mechanism for this emotional readout is long-standing (predating language, he says) and complex. “The beauty of this system is its speed—all of these brain systems work in harmony within a fraction of a second to give us insight into even subtle emotions indicated by the curl of a lip or the furrow of a brow,” he adds.