Claire Danes is More Than a Topless Cover

by Maitri Suhas

Google "Claire Danes" right now and here are some of the sample results: "Stunning Claire Danes Goes Topless," "Claire Danes Goes Topless," "Claire Danes Topless in Sexy Shoot." Hey y'all: Just in case you missed it, Claire Danes is topless. I mean, even I am interested in seeing the beautiful blonde Homeland star in the semi-nude. I'm only human, aren't I?

But! Did you know that in the very feature in Interview Magazine in which she's showing it off, Danes also does a personal interview with her friend and fellow great actor, Dustin Hoffman? And she talks about her seminal role on the cult hit, My So-Called Life? I will concede that Danes looks beyond bangin' in the photos from the shoot, but here are some highlights from the telling and personal conversation she had with Hoffman about motherhood, playing a bipolar character on Homeland, and acting as a teenager.

On familiarizing herself with the character of Carrie Matheson:

"Because she is so different from who I am, she is that much more enjoyable—and, in some ways, easier—to play. Carrie can be manic. Last season, she was pretty consistently medicated, so there were no episodes where she was really spiraling out, but those scenes are kind of fun to play. In the first season, when she really spun out initially, it was kind of a euphoric mania, and that was interesting because I found that I got a bit of a contact high from it—It was exhausting, but it was also exhilarating. But there are different types of mania. At the beginning of this season we're in now, she's a different kind of manic—an agitated manic—and all of those manic scenes just happened to be lumped together in the same couple of days at the very beginning of filming."

On what the routine is like on the set of Homeland:

"It's pretty regimented. We have a read-through of each episode, which I find really valuable. Usually, it's at lunch, and it helps me get a sense of what the episode is in its totality because then it's broken down so quickly and every actor kind of retreats into their respective storylines. So we have a read-through. As I was saying, there are directors who come back, but we usually have a different director for every episode, so sometimes I'm working with new people and some days are more stacked than others. It's eight days an episode, and maybe half of those days will be 12- to 15-hour days."

On taking a break from acting and going to Yale:

"By the time I went to Yale, I'd been acting for a long time and I was really tired of [acting]. I was restless—and a little bored—and I was really eager to investigate different parts of myself. I didn't act for three years, which is a long time—and it was strange when I did return to it."

On her most well-known character, teenager Angela Chase from My So-Called LIfe:

"I had a really hard time in school. Angela Chase was having hard time, too, but she just didn't have this out that I did-this acting career. She was also a kid of the suburbs, and I grew up in SoHo in the 1980s with these artist parents, so I think that she was probably in a slightly more conservative environment. But every teenager feels singularly wayward and misunderstood. I mean, that's what it is to be a teenager."

For more of Danes' insight on her marriage to Hugh Dancy, raising their son with two busy actor parents, her research of bipolar disorder to play Carrie Matheson, and her role as Temple Grandin, you should seriously check out the entire transcript of the dialogue in Interviewit's definitely worth a read, and even more fascinating to see how two accomplished, thoughtful actors discuss their craft and their lives.

AND, because this IS a cover story in which she was topless, after all, here's a link to the gorgeous shot from Interview.

Definitely headline-worthy, I have to say. But, still, there's more to Danes than her diminishing clothes, so read on!

Image: Interview Magazine