It’s been a minute since Homeland fans have seen Claire Danes‘ character, Carrie, indulge in a little romance. Carrie has had a fair share of relationships on the Showtime series, with a mix of deceased and living ex-lovers. While the character has struggled with figuring out the balance of love and work for a majority of the show’s six seasons, she’s gone without a romantic interest for some time now. During a panel at a Homeland press event in Los Angeles on Monday, April 3, Danes opened up about why this helps make Carrie a game-changer in television.
“I actually think there are a lot of romances at play with Carrie this season — they’re just not sexual,” said the 37-year-old. She explained that just because Carrie’s attachments aren’t romantic at the moment, this doesn’t mean they’re not as profound: “With Quinn and Saul and with Frannie — she has deep attachments, but very complex attachments to these primary characters.”
Danes, who has a son with husband Hugh Dancy, acknowledged the rarity of a female protagonist to go so long without a lover or sex on such a mainstream series — and that’s what she loves about it. “That’s one of the great gifts of this world and this job is that she is so much bigger than her gender,” said Danes. “She’s defined by her ethics, her moral self, her political ambition, her bipolar condition. There’s just so much at play.”
Carrie has been working on figuring out her best self after trials of the past, and Danes respects that. “She’s been repentant for a couple seasons now, for all of her transgressions. … She is very devoted to doing the right thing,” said the actress. Not to say that a love interest won’t pop up in the future, of course. “There’s some confusion about what that right thing actually is, but she’s doing her darnedest to put a heavy, heavy lid on it. It would be a boring show if she were able to do that all the time.”
Six seasons in with two more to go (as of now), Danes is along for the continuation of the ride, whatever that entails. The actress tells Us Weekly she has no idea what Carrie’s ultimate future holds, and she likes it that way. “I think we’re all very glad that it’s not in my hands,” she joked.
Homeland‘s season 6 finale airs on Showtime Sunday, April 9, at 9 p.m. ET.