claire danes mandy patinkin homeland 'Homeland' boss talks Emmys, endgame: 'Carrie has a lot more trouble to get into'
Although “Homeland” picked up nine Emmy nominations — a coup for the freshman political thriller starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis — its cast and crew haven’t had much time to celebrate.

The critically acclaimed Showtime series is about halfway through production on their second season, and as Morena Baccarin, who plays the wife of Lewis’ terrorist/aspiring vice president Nick Brody, told Zap2it:

“I can’t sleep when I’m working. It’s intense stuff we’re dealing with and shooting. It’s really intense. That’s what I love and hate about it — you can’t catch your breath.”

Still, Zap2it managed to persuade “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa to take a quick breather to answer some of our burning questions about how the Emmy nods impact both his creative process and the show’s future direction.

How does this kind of recognition affect the show?
I’m thrilled for our cast and crew, who work incredibly hard. But when we go in the writers’ room, there’s still a season to write. It’s the same for anyone running a show, whether you’ve won awards or not. You’re just trying to tell the best story you can.

How have the Emmy nominations and the show’s popularity affected how you are mapping out the show’s future storylines? Do you have an endgame in mind?
We’re lucky to have an extremely smart audience, who push us to write the smartest show we can — it’s a huge challenge just to stay ahead of them! As for an endgame, Carrie [Danes] has a lot more trouble to get into, in a lot more places. We shot early episodes of Season 2 in Israel and were reminded that there’s an urgency onscreen simply by being in unfamiliar surroundings.

How has your creative process changed in the years since your first Emmy nomination for “Beauty and the Beast” in 1989?
I’m a complete bear to live with when I’m writing. That hasn’t changed in 20 years. But working on “24” did help develop my thriller-writing muscle–that and rereading John le Carr�. It’s a very specific genre.

What nominated TV series (comedy and drama) do you watch regularly (or on DVD/streaming when you’re not consumed by Homeland)?
“Homeland” is all-consuming — but “Boss,” “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation” are in my Netflix queue when we come up for air.

Homeland returns to Showtime Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m.

Posted by:dmoorhouse