Claire Danes for ELLE Magazine

Posted on January 09, 2013

Claire Danes unleashes her crazy eyes on the cover of Elle.


‘Homeland’ star Claire Danes covers the February 2013 issue of ELLE magazine photographed by Carter Smith and styled by Joe Zee wearing a top by Just Cavalli and Cartier jewelry.

On teenagers growing up in Hollywood today: “When I was younger, I was a little bit more restless, but there weren’t as many eyes. There weren’t as many tabloids or the number of cameras that everyone’s armed with. I feel huge sympathy for teenagers who have suddenly found themselves as public figures now, because it just sucks for them.”

On her relationship with husband Hugh Dancy: “Hugh was just the right partner for me. I got very, very lucky. There’s only so much credit you can take when it just sort of works, you know? And obviously we work hard at maintaining our relationship—that is central to both our lives—but at the same time, it’s just this kind of ease that I can’t really account for.”

On waiting to have children: “I’ve always wanted to have kids, but I’m glad I didn’t until now. When I was thinking about [working and being a mother] originally, I was really nervous about it…I think I would make a lousy stay-at-home mom. It just wouldn’t suit me. I feel so fortunate, in that I’ve had this arrow-straight focus…that I wanted to act.”

On meeting President Obama (a fan of Homeland) with her husband Hugh at the White House Correspondent’s dinner: “Hugh was like, ‘We have to meet Obama,’ and we walked over before we could think and found ourselves shaking hands with him. Hugh realized that he’d forgotten to actually properly introduce himself, and he [President Obama] was like, ‘And you are?’ And Hugh was like, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. President.’ I said, ‘I’m Claire Danes,’ and he said, ‘Oh, you’re a fine actress.’ And I said, ‘You’re a fine president!’ And he said, ‘Oh, you’re a finer actress than I am president.’ I didn’t have any retort. Hugh and I went immediately to the bar and had a big shot of vodka.”

Tom Ford Dress. Cartier Jewelry.

Chloé Top. Cartier Jewelry.

Narciso Rodriguez Dress. Gianvito Rossi Pumps.


We never realized what great hair she has. She’s so unglamorous in Homeland that it’s easy to not notice, we suppose. It’s a “just okay” editorial. She’s styled well, but the shots don’t inspire much in the way of commentary. She doesn’t strike us as fashion editorial material; especially when they go the sexy-sexy route. Just not her thing. She’s too cerebral (in an actressy kind of way) for that.

So let’s talk Homeland instead. Do you think Brody did it? We’ve been debating that one for weeks now.

[Photo Credit: Carter Smith for ELLE]

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  • foodycatAlicia

    I watched Stardust for the first time on the weekend and was struck again by how very beautiful she is. But a femme fatale she ain’t.

    • Sobaika

      That is such a cute movie!

      • foodycatAlicia

         Isn’t it? Can’t believe it took me so long to get around to it!

    • GorgeousThings

      Stardust is one of my favorite movies for a rainy day! It’s a great cast, and she’s fun. Of course, Robert DeNiro steals the show, but what else does one expect?

    • formerlyAnon

       Stardust is a movie that grows on me every time I watch it. I liked it the first time, mind.

    • Claudia

      Agreed.  And that movie is so good!  Neil Gaiman rocks my socks.  

    • TRSTL

      She is such a beautiful woman, I love her!  The movie that clinched my crush was “Evening”.  GREAT movie with an unbelievable lineup of female acting power.

  • gabbilevy

    The only photo I really like is the one at the window… that could be a Homeland promo shot.

    … I haven’t decided if Brody did it. It would be a more interesting show if he did.

  • Kate Andrews

    Yay! Gosh, she is wonderful on Homeland (and I think Brody was set up — the video getting to the news channels was too much). I like all of these pictures except for the one where she’s looking through the blinds. That’s too in-character, and we don’t get to see the clothes. 

  • Hell Yes, I Would!

    No way he did it. I still think it was Saul “The Bear” Berenson.

    Not really – but that would be a twist NO ONE would see….

    • Shannon Beamer

      I kind of think it WAS Saul.  I know that I do not really have a basis for that, but that last scene with him was just so…strange? 

      • Hell Yes, I Would!

        It was! I watched and re-watched it. He had the means – and he had the tape. But why? I can’t figure out why. Damn you Homeland. Maybe it was Mike? Screw over Brody – get back in with the wife? If Abu-Nazir turned one marine – why not another?

    • lexilexi

       You’re right… that would be a true surprise… but next season should be great with the return of Mrs. Saul… and, it appears, Saul as the director.  And then there’s the always mysterious Peter Quinn (gun man) who now will question whether  he should have shot  Brody when he had the chance.  Oh, it’s all too fab!

    • Laylalola

      I think it’s Carrie. I think she’s a sleeper cell that was activated when a POW nobody knew was still alive came home.

    • Introspective

      Hell yes, hell yes saul did it. (i couldnt resist) Hes totally the mole!!

      • PaulaBerman

         FINALLY someone else who thinks so!

  • schadenfreudelicious

    photo number 3 is doing gawd awful things to her face, i cannot believe that made the cut!

    • MishaFoomin

       Makes her look like Thundercat Willam from Drag Race.

  • allaboutthewalterbenjamins

    It can’t be that hard to unlock her sexy. It’s just not this painfully obvious approach.

  • MsOlympia

    That photo with the dark eyeshadow and the fingers on the chin is heinous.

  • Kate Andrews

    Also — I wonder when they took these pictures. She just had a baby a short time ago.

    • kschwarting

      I was wondering the same thing!

  • hughman

    My So-Called Fashion Spread. 

    (Sorry, she will always be Angela Chase to me!)

    • terpsichory

       Oh yes! I fondly remember wanting her exact same hair colour and accidentally turnig my hair purple. Well, I was young, I didn’t care.

  • ChiliP

    I don’t think Brody did it…although I’ve been known to be wrong before. If he did do it, he was resigned to kill himself (makes sense) and Carrie (not so much sense) in the process. If it weren’t for Carrie’s last-minute invitation to discuss their relationship in the midst of the VP’s memorial service (btw, doesn’t that seem a bit…inappropriate? Do people stand up and leave in the middle of a CIA memorial for the vice president? Especially his probable running mate?), they both would have died in the explosion. I don’t completely buy that Brody’s love for Carrie is all-consuming, but I also think he would have appeared more torn about the idea of her death at his hands.

    Questions for other kittens: whoever moved Brody’s car, how did they get it so close to the building? Was that even a parking space? Wouldn’t there have been more guards at a memorial service of that caliber? It just seemed odd. And how did Carrie and Brodie get out of the building after the explosion without being noticed?? Also, do we think Jessica and the the kiddos (and Uncle Mike!) will be a major factor season, or will they become background characters? Homeland just doesn’t feel complete without a Dana intervention, imo.

    • editrixie

      All your questions are good ones — I loved the series in the first season and the first half of second season, but the last half went completely off the rails and really frustrated me on SO many levels. They did things that are just Bad Storytelling 101 — a good example is how they went to lengths to mention that the teams always work in pairs and then one of them goes off into the underbelly of the building with Carrie and loses comms with his team, and of course immediately gets shot doing something he’s specifically trained not to do…and Carrie survives, of course, for no discernable reason.

      There is no way that the car bomb could have been moved to just in front of the massively windowed location by someone else. The whole thing is ridiculous. If the funeral service had been offsite in a difficult to secure location, maybe, but it would still stretch credulity. And the fact that they both escaped…arg. They have worked so hard to show us that these CIA types are so very smart, and yet they abandon that in favor of deus ex machina plot devices to keep them going.

      It’s really clear that the producers have a hard-on for Brody, and while they keep taunting the audience with this idea that he could be a very bad man, they’ve instead opted to forget all that and make him heroic, and keep him alive. Damian Lewis keeps mentioning how they could kill him off at any minute, but it’s clear they’re not going to get rid of him. Or the whole star-crossed lovers romance angle. It makes me sad — the critics are creaming themselves over the show, and we all keep tuning in to see what will happen, so there’s no incentive to change it. Obviously it works now, and gets them attention. I hope they will focus on Carrie next season, and let the Brody story breathe for a while so they can maybe regain their footing.

      Ugh, sorry. I guess I have strong feelings about this.

      • ChiliP

        I agree with you. I understand that this is a TV show, so suspensions in belief are to be expected, but there were just too many “seriously?” moments this season. Carrie grabbing the one bag that held the copy of Brody’s confession tape, Brody texting Abu Nazir in the control room surrounded by people, the hide-and-seek game between Carrie and Abu Nazir (which she somehow survived?), Brody essentially murdering the VP in his own home without being caught (weren’t there fingerprints all over the shelves and bookcases?), the aforementioned problems with the car’s proximity to the CIA building and general lack of security, etc. I really hate to nit pick shows, but for some reason this show seemed to present itself as reasonably plausible for some time, then decided to go for shock factor. I think, as you also mentioned, I’m extra critical since the show has won so many awards and is a critical darling. Plus, they stole (yes, stole) the Emmy from my beloved Breaking Bad this year, so perhaps I’m inclined to be more critical. Still, while I’m excited about where next season is going, I’m also somewhat apprehensive.

      • Verascity

         Perfect post, editrixie. I adored season one of Homeland, but season two went off the rails in an enormous way. That said, I don’t think it’s true that the critics are letting this ridiculousness go by — most reviews I saw of the second half of the season were very critical. Although a lot of them said the finale redeemed things for them, which it did not at all for me… Way too many logic holes and not at all enough character development to make up for them.

        Mostly, I’m just depressed at what happened to Carrie. Season one, she was already near the top of my all-time favorite female leads. Now she’s just a dudematized mess.

        • editrixie

          Dudematized. Oh man, that is fabulous. And so very apt. I still have this long post in me about the finale that I haven’t wanted to subject people to on my LiveJournal page, about them forcing Carrie to choose between her man and her job. I just…I can’t even talk about it. I have to go lie down on my fainting couch and drink tea now.

        • Alloy Jane

          That’s a much less crass way of putting it.  I had a friend who would refer to it as “dickmatized,” but I like yours better.

          • Verascity

             LOL I actually wrote it because I wanted to say “dickmatized” and felt it was too crass for this audience.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    That cover shot could’ve been the cover shot for her 90s rap album. 

  • MishaFoomin

    Why is she plotting to kill me?? Gah! Those eyes!

    • kimmeister

      Seriously!  I get that magazines want to have a “striking” cover, but those eyes are downright terrifying!

      • MishaFoomin

         I can’t look away. Can’t blink!

  • jilly_d

    I’m not scrolling down to avoid Homeland spoilers (it’s in the Netflix queue, back off) but I have loved her since Romeo + Juliet, and MSCL.  And I love her in that Chloe top. 

  • Breatheinthegood

    I’m not sure if Brody did it, but if he didn’t know about it at all, why did Carrie ask him why he looked sad when she told him she wanted to be with him? It seems so fishy that he would go from gun-ho terrorist to turning against Nazhir…

  • guest2visits

    Oh no; the couch is prettier than that dress.  But the first 2 pics are good.

  • Matt Bailer

    Hey TLo, is there a reason y’all don’t recap Homeland?  I feel like it’s far more worthy of your always insightful and entertaining review than some other shows…. Could you start in season 3?

    • Kelli Anderson Taylor

       I second this question.

  • kckris

    HELL YES BRODY DID IT!!!!!  I re-watched the episode, and remember when he and Carrie were leaving the memorial?  Brody is seen outside moving very quickly along the side of the building, Carrie is inside walking down a hallway.  WHY did he have to go outside to rejoin Carrie when they were both already indoors???!?!?!!!  AND – as far as the video goes, he only made the one copy..numerous others could have been duplicated.  My guess is that the plan all along was to release that video whenever an attack was done on US soil, that way Brody (an esteemed US Marine) could take the blame – I don’t think he counted on there being another video outside of the CIA, and I’m sure he was thinking that he got away with all of it.  He got rid of the veep, his family, Estes, and however many other higher ups were in attendance at the memorial; Carrie was his alibi, but then that video surfaced and the shit hit the fan!    Unless we all get back to the mole question..I was really thinking it was either Quinn or Galvez seeing as how they both “survived” the Gettysburg incident, but I’m totally unsure now.  But, the larger question, I still want to know what Brody was scribbling down on that piece of paper as he called Carrie and the CIA once he was released from Nazir.  I miss this show!!!!

    • Verascity

      JSYK, according to Gansa, Galvez was killed offscreen in the explosion.

  • Sobaika

    Ugh, Homeland has really disappointed me this season.Not here for that. For what it’s worth I don’t think he did it.

    She looks fine, but I don’t think this sultry thing is necessarily her wheelhouse.

  • Judy_J

    I’ve liked her since “My So Called Life”.  Cute story about meeting Obama.  And she does have great hair.

  •!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

    Those shots are… not flattering.  She’s much prettier than this.

    • Sobaika

      She is very pretty but I don’t think she necessarily photographs the best. Which is neither here nor there since Elle should have the ability to photograph her well and choose flattering shots. I’d be really mad about the third one down.

      • PaulaBerman

         She is about 2″ from making an obscene gesture with her hands and her mouth in that one…

  • VicksieDo

    It feels to me like they’re going for the romance over the intrigue on Homeland now, so no, I don’t think he did it.  I think Nazir set him up.

  • shirab

    Is there a teensy whiff of condescension in the “being a stay-at-home-mom just wouldn’t suit me” sound bite? A little soupcon of “…the way it seems to suit women who have lesser careers/career ambitions than I”? Or is that simply me being defensive, since I chose a different path, the kind without “arrow-straight focus,” once the kiddies came along?

    • Alloy Jane

      Nah, I’m pretty sure you’re being defensive.  She didn’t make any allusions to it being beneath her, she said she’d be bad at it.  Domesticity is hard work and unending.  That’s why some people pay others for help doing it.

  • decormaven

    Not getting the film noir vibe they’re trying to push, but the cover shot is very lively.

  • Linda Harris

    I don’t think Brody did it

  • Laylalola

    Elle did quite a nice job here on hair and makeup.

  • alyce1213

    I think every picture, including the cover, is just awful:  
    1) A cover with crazy eyes is not a good thing. Smizing with madness.
    2) Trite, hack shot with light and shadow through venetian blinds (Photography 101)
    3) Looks like a professional escort a dozen years older than she actually is
    4) ^^ Ditto

  • Victoria Weinstein

    I totally think Saul did it. And that is a really ridiculous editorial of Claire Danes. What the hell. You have Claire Danes and you put her on her  knees on a sofa unzipping her dress? Dumb.

    • Alloy Jane

      NO FREAKING KIDDING.  Was gonna comment on the actual pictures but you said it for me, this editorial is dumb.

      Anywho, I have mounds of question marks around Saul, what with him not passing the polygraph and… I dunno, there’s something fishy there.  I def don’t think Brody did it, he was commenting on his car being out there before it blew up.

      Thank you TLo, I love Homeland and I watch it because you kept mentioning it.  Same with Mad Men, never would’ve bothered if you didn’t have a high opinion of it.  <3<3<3

  • myblackfriendsays

    I think she looks like Mena Suvari in the 2nd photo. I don’t watch Homeland, but I am glad that she is working regularly–I loved My So-Called Life.

  • Verascity

    I’m pretty sure Brody didn’t do it, because they really seem to have abandoned the larger cat-and-mouse game in favor of trying to make Brody into a heroic figure to better sell the romance. Like, yeah, there are moments of doubt in each episode, but the long game seems to have abandoned Brody’s terrorism pretty much entirely. Even his murder of the VP was spun as a romantic hero decision (as if saying “I chose you over the guy I already tried to kill once” is at all romantic, but whatever).

    After all, Quinn didn’t kill him because Quinn “kills bad guys.” (Ugh, I hated that scene. What a waste of a badass moment on a lazy plot hole.)

    • PaulaBerman

       Quinn was maneuvering Estes to back off on Brody because whoever orchestrated that whole thing (SAUL!!!) needed Brody alive and free as a patsy for the bombing.

      • Verascity

        If that were true, why did Quinn go to the cabin in the first place? Why was he there for an entire day? Why did he start to go after Brody and back off?

        Saul being the mole makes no sense either. If he’s the mole, none of his actions surrounding his discovery of the tape are logical. And if he’s the mole *and* directing Quinn, why the entire subplot about him tracking Quinn’s origins?

        • PaulaBerman

           Here is what I think: once Saul figured out the assassination plot and who was behind it (Dar Adal), he countermanded it and redirected the efforts to frame Brody. My issues with Saul are this: he keeps being involved with situations where terror suspects commit suicide. When talking to Estes, he defends Brody, saying Brody did all he was asked to do. When talking to Carrie, it’s “once a terrorist, always a terrorist.” When he says she is the smartest and the stupidest fucking person he knows, he is trying to tell her that he has been playing her the whole time: the entire Abu Nazir capture was a ploy to maneuver Brody into place to take the fall for the bombing at the end. He tries to talk Carrie out of going to the funeral, but once she goes, he wants her to be dead. Hence his grimace/smile at the end. Who else could get an SUV that close to the building? I could be wrong, but I think Saul is the mole.

          • Verascity

            I don’t think there’s anything contradictory in what he’s saying, though. Brody shouldn’t be *killed* because he’s fulfilled his deal with them and is, technically, an “innocent” (save for killing Walker, and obviously they don’t know about the VP even though it makes no sense that they don’t). That’s not the same as thinking it’s safe for his protege and dear friend to quit her job to run away with the guy.

            I mean, let’s say Brody was an emotionally abusive boyfriend rather than a potential terrorist — wouldn’t it make sense that he’d argue the guy didn’t deserve death but also wasn’t worthy of Carrie?

            There are just so many holes one would have to accept in order to make Saul the mole (again, see all of his actions surrounding the tape and the reveal of Brody — for that matter, if he was the mole, why reveal it when he was the only one who knew?). Meanwhile, if he *is* the mole, it undermines virtually all of the emotional development we’ve seen of his onscreen. I don’t have a lot of faith in the writers right now, but I trust them that they at least won’t say, “You know all that stuff we showed you in a completely straightforward way? Total lies.”

          • PaulaBerman

            I guess if I thought my friend was in an emotionally abusive relationship with a terrorist, I wouldn’t put myself out too much to prevent his assassination. Maybe that’s just me though. Saul goes WAY out on a limb to save Brody, and he knows damn well Carrie is not going to give him up because of his finger wagging. There seems to be an agenda in his preservation of Brody.

            Why reveal the tape? I’m not sure I understand the question. The tape wasn’t revealed until the bombing was being pinned on Brody. Note that it is the group claiming responsibility for the bombing who revealed the tape, though I am pretty sure whoever framed Brody is the one who really revealed it, and the group taking responsibility is a front.

            As for Quinn, notice that we see Saul find out about Quinn’s wife and child. Then Quinn goes from Dar Adal’s assassin to letting Brody off the hook. Hmmmm. Was Quinn “gotten to” via threats to his family?

            There are a lot of things that aren’t necessarily straightforward here: why so much emphasis on how Saul keeps failing polygraph tests? Why the two suicides of terrorist in captivity that are linked to him? You are right, it does undermine our belief as viewers that Saul is the moral core of the show, but the message of this show may be that there is no moral core anywhere. I believe Carrie maybe the ultimate patsy, who “catches” Abu Nazir and saves Brody only so that they can be used for a larger purpose.

            But hey, I could be wrong.

          • Verascity

            No — when Saul obtained the tape in the first place, he was the only one on the CIA’s side that knew about it. If he’s the mole, why go through the extreme danger of bringing the tape back — under Hezbollah’s nose, even tricking an operative — to show Carrie and Estes and the CIA? It would take some pretty extreme story twisting to explain that.

            And again, with Quinn, if he was never supposed to actually kill Brody at the cabin, why even have him go out there and spend an entire day out there with his rifle, even to the point of assembling it and going to the woods after Brody? Or did Saul somehow phone in this threat to him right in the nick of time?

            My point is, it doesn’t just undermine our faith in Saul as the moral center: we’ve seen nothing but circumstantial and mostly contradictory links between him and terrorism, ones that not only contradict the logic of the show and the objective things we’ve seen (like Quinn assembling his rifle) but also Saul’s entire development until now. There has to be a kernel of truth at the heart of the show, or there’s no point at all. Why not make Carrie the mole?

          • PaulaBerman

             The tape… If the writers go this way, the reason Saul brought back the tape was to use it to rehab Carrie so he could use her to catch Abu Nazir. The tape is what cured her debilitating self-doubt, which brought her back to the CIA, which led to the capture of Nazir.

            I think Quinn WAS supposed to kill Brody at the cabin, but he was “gotten to” by Saul and turned. What, do you think Quinn defied Dar Adal because of his deep moral convictions? If he was ever willing to assassinate a sitting Senator and American citizen without trial, he doesn’t seem like the type of person prone to maudlin sentiment.

            Time will tell. I am probably wrong about Saul, I admit it, but I don’t think it’s as far out as you do.

          • Verascity

             Wait, now I’m confused. If Saul is the mole, why would he want the CIA to capture Nazir? Just for the sake of this bomb plan?

          • PaulaBerman

            It seemed glaringly obviously to me that the entire Nazir plan was a set up for the bombing. It was an elaborate suicide plan by Nazir, in collusion with the mole. Yes, there has to be a mole. How else would that SVU get so close to the memorial service at Langley? Carrie was meant to catch him. She suspected as much herself. It was a set up. Who else could be sure such a plan would go off? Saul.

            The main fly in my ointment here is, why would Quinn put together the rifle, then not shoot. He might have been wearing an earpiece. That is my theory.

  • rumcg66

    No, Brody didn’t do it. If he did, he would have covered his tracks much better. Anyone think it could be Quinn? 

    • MilaXX

      Nope, but Estes has always had my side eye. He is desperate to make sure  what really happened with that air strike NEVER sees the light of day.

      • rumcg66

        Yeah, if Estes hadn’t gotten killed in the explosion, I would totally suspect him. He was a bad dude.

        • MilaXX

          Just had a thought,F. Murray Abraham. Quinn reports to him. I dunno, just guessing.

          • rumcg66

            Yes, he’s a distinct possibility as well.

  • MilaXX

    Editorial is fine and the interview didn’t annoy. I don’t think Brody did it. I think he and to a lessor extent Roya are all pawns.

  • myristica_fragrans

    i’m guessing this shoot is so bad because she was trying to hide her pregnancy? and she looks deraged on the cover!

  • formerlyAnon

    I always think she’s more than pretty – almost striking, but I don’t see it in these photos.

  • PaulaBerman

    Saul did it. That’s my theory and I’ve got lots of reasons why, which I won’t burden you with. 

  • amanda lynn

    What is it about the white below the color of the eyes showing that makes anyone look cray-cray?

  • Lisa_Cop

    From what I see of it I like the Narciso Rodriguez dress.

    And based on the interview with Gansa it sounds like Brody didn’t do it, although when I watched the episode I thought he did do it.

  • Sweetvegan

    The last photo of her unzipping her dress looks awful. It doesn’t show off her or the dress, and it’s not pretty or interesting visually. 

  • Candigirl1968

    Most of the pictures aren’t very good, but I do like the cover shot.  

  • CatherineRhodes

    Homeland: Unless the writers are going to throw a completely unsubstantiated left-field twist at us (think “The Killing”), it has to be Brody. Think of the insanely tight security for the vice-president’s funeral at the CIA… how would Nazir have possibly snuck in an operative? The big deal with Nazir needing Brody was because as a congressman, he had access. Brody was the one who was signalling to Carrie that they should leave the funeral. Brody also came up with a very quick answer to Carrie afterwards (“Nazir was setting us up all along…blah blah”).

    Here are my predictions for next season:

    • Saul and Carrie assume high leadership positions in the reconstituted CIA, bringing on Peter Quinn, Galvez, Virgil, his weird little brother, what’s left of the gang
    • Mike is asked to join the CIA since he’s in military intelligence, and now they’re very short-staffed at the Agency (this keeps Brody’s wife and daughter in the story)
    • They find out through surveillance tapes that Brody did move his car. Carrie goes mental over being betrayed again.
    • Brody becomes a rogue terrorist, setting up sleeper cells around the country
    • Carrie and Peter Quinn strike up a romance (I thought they had nice chemistry), and make it their life’s work to find Brody.


    • Verascity

       I hate Brody and wish it was him, but in his defense: I’m pretty sure Carrie was the one who signaled they should leave.