Claire Danes for Vogue Magazine

Posted on July 15, 2013

It’s an incredibly rare thing for an actor to land a role that becomes something of a cultural touchstone and later, a symbol of the times. Most actors find such a thing to be a mixed blessing at best when it happens once; because while it’s gratifying to do work that resonates that strongly with people, it’s a heavy stone around their necks for the rest of their careers; a role they will either spend their time living up to or playing down as the years go by. But when an actor manages to do this twice, then all questions of living up or playing down are cast aside, because she’s proven herself to be someone who both chooses roles well and plays them so well that people can’t shut up about them. 

In other words, Angela Chase was the role Claire had to live up to or play down because she became a symbol to people of her generation, but when Carrie Mathison became just as much a cultural marker (and equally a symbol; this time of our tense, anxious, paranoid, almost literally terror-filled 21stC lives), it became obvious that we were looking at a very smart, very talented actress; not someone who just lucked into a good role.

And while a surveillance-state themed Vogue editorial almost sounds too parodic to parody, we can’t deny it works really, really well. That van shot is sexy as hell, although we question the idea of a federal agent wearing an open-backed Calvin Klein cocktail dress to an interrogation room.


“Homeland” star Claire Danes covers the August 2013 issue of Vogue magazine photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

On her mentors: “I’ve had conversations with them. Meryl, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster…You have to pick your battles on set. You have to come to work from a place of love. You have to stay hydrated when you have crying scenes. You have to go to college. And you have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl!”

On acting: “I like reading novels because it provides insight into human behavior. I am really interested in feelings and think they are what define us as a species. When you really get it right in acting, it’s an act of empathy. You feel less distant from others, and that is really exciting.”

On whether “Homeland” has changed the way she sees the world: “Not really. I think growing up in New York in a very liberal environment, I confused jingoism with patriotism, and that mistake has been corrected as I’ve reconsidered what the potential cost of serving our country can be, but I don’t think I’ve become more of a political beast.”


Burberry Prorsum Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Karmen Pedaru

Victoria Beckham Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Magdalena Frackowiak

Calvin Klein Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Carolyn Murphy



[Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazine,]

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  • veleri

    love the pictures. love the styling.

    • H2olovngrl

      Love the bonus Damien Lewis!

      • veleri

        not bad!

      • marlie

        There are a couple more pictures in this editorial that include him.

        • H2olovngrl

          I already went huntin’ I love the one on the bed and he looks HOT in the car shot.

    • Annarosa

      … but too much photoshop on the cover.

      • veleri

        photoshop, photoshop everywhere.

  • drdarke

    Interrogation in a backless gown?

    Well, it is Carrie Mathison, and she’s probably figuring she can get intel – or banging….

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    Finally, an editorial with something beyond dead eyes and a slightly open mouth! Love the Burberry coat on the cover, though in today’s 95-degree-heat I’m sweating just looking at it.

    • Jecca2244

      and an editorial I want to read! Just threw the Katy Perry cover away. Her soulless eyes were haunting me from the closet floor.

  • Maggie

    I love the surveillance van and interrogation room pics, but not the cover shot. It kind of looks like she’s doing some smell-the-fart acting.

  • Little_Olive

    Really quite good, Vogue. Relating with the topic with a correct editorial twist, good lighting, we see the clothes. Her face on the cover is… not quite hers -on features, not only the lack of wrinkles-, but that’s a lost battle.

    Off topic: Carolyn Murphy, what happened to your mouth?

    • HengRu

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was dismayed by Carolyn’s puffy lips.

  • gabbilevy

    Homeland’s Facebook page linked to this earlier and my first thought was “Ooooh gorgeous,” and my second thought was, “I can’t wait till TLo posts this!”

    Glad Claire seems to also have a decent head on her shoulders, rather than the vapid celebuspeak.

  • Sara

    You’ve got to see the one of Claire in the red dress. Or Damian in the dress uniform. Or the two of them in the car. Chemistry onscreen is one thing, but in a still photograph??

    She’s one of my favorite actresses, and I love this shoot. She is so smart and has never been afraid to show it.

    • H2olovngrl

      The one on the bed! Oh my gosh!

  • Insidiously

    Oh my gosh, I’ve always said she’s incredibly intelligent, and her answers prove that. Love her!

  • Dhammadina

    Claire Danes is an icon for another role: Temple Grandin, for which she won a Golden Globe. Might seem funny to pick this one, but it also captures the zeitgeist. I especially love that she’s rocking the back of the Beckham dress.

    • Kate Andrews

      Also, Romeo & Juliet with Leo! Evvvvverybody I knew saw that when it came out.

      • Dhammadina


      • sleah_in_norcal

        totally. see my comment downstream. i couldn’t believe no one else mentioned it.

    • Dhammadina


  • Kate Andrews

    Ooh, I love the pic with her and Brody. I cannot wait for the next season to start.

  • Kiltdntiltd

    Sound like a woman I would want to have dinner with.

  • Julie Chase

    That Calvin Klein dress is KILLA.

    Mmmm, bonus Damian Lewis.

  • Tatiana Luján

    I don’t like the CK dress much, but it looks 10 thousand times better on her than on the model or on Zoe Saldana.

  • Introspective

    I love that she is intelligent and feminist and unafraid to show it in an age where starlets are supposed to be pretty but vacant.

    and she looks smashing from head to toe. love all of this. so here for it.

  • H2olovngrl

    Ah yes, words to live by, ladies, ” Stay Hydrated in Your Crying Scenes.” Truth.

    • Adriana_Paula

      Especially when you’re as committed an onscreen crier as she is. Her crying has brought me to near tears since Little Women.

  • GorgeousThings

    The Beckam dress looks better on her than on the model, and I love the shoes Vogue paired with it.

    I’ve loved Claire Danes since Stardust. It was one of those silly little movies that just grabbed me, and she was ethereal in it.

    • VioletFlame

      For me it was her work in Temple Grandin. She Daniel Day Lewis disappeared into the role.

  • ErmengardeGreen

    She sounds interesting to talk to, which isn’t so common in a glossy-mag interview. Love the gray dress. I wish she wasn’t so tan-nude in the face on the cover, though.

  • Sobaika

    I like her when she is acting. But seeing her in print/red carpet and reading some of her soundbites has me screaming “Dull, dull, dull!”

    • MilaXX

      I go back and forth on her. Sometimes I find her dull, sometimes I find her to be a HUGE stick in the mud, and occasionally I like her.

  • YoungSally

    Silly boys — that’s not an open backed dress for an interrogation. It is a special teal blue shoulder holster with skirt.

    • mshesterp

      I think the back of that dress is so badass.

  • decormaven

    Great styling throughout! Both star and clothes shine.

  • prettybigkitty

    She is one of the most talented actresses of our generation, so it makes sense that she has multiple roles that define the times we live(d) in. If you have any doubt about her acting ability, rent Temple Grandin. A fantastic story about an amazing woman, who Claire plays brilliantly.

  • Henry Maler

    That van picture is to die for!

  • MilaXX

    I like the photoshoot, but no the cover.

  • Danielle L

    Bonus Damien Lewis!!

  • BrooklynBomber

    The latex raincoat probably feels horrible to wear, but, God, it’s gorgeous.

  • Carrieanno

    First time in a very long time I’ll be checking my mailbox as soon as the mail is delivered.

  • berkeleygirl

    Even though I prefer her with darker-bonde/light-brown hair, this is best she’s looked in ages… Also props to you for your writing – one of your best… I’ve loved her ever since, pre-Angela, she appeared on Law & Order as a teen ultimately guilty of murder. It remains one of the finest pieces of acting I’ve seen by a young, near-inexperienced actor. You just wondered, like her Temple Grandin, how does she know that?

  • Gotham Tomato

    That is one GORGEOUS cover!


  • Shawn EH

    Maybe a weird dress to interrogate in, but I love it. Hasn’t Zoe Saldana worn it, too?

  • Jennifer Peters-Ahnberg

    She looks fantastic and sounds smart as hell. Bonus points for using jingoism.

  • cowper

    Staring at her legs. Definitely a weapon of mass distraction.

  • Diego!

    Gorgeous. Everything is perfect!

  • crash1212

    Beautiful. And no cringe-worthy quotes. A win all the way around.

  • majorbedhead

    Confession time: I’ve never seen My So-Called Life or Homeland, but I’ve always like Clare Danes. I’m sure I’ve seen her in other things that are escaping my aging mind at the moment, but she’s always struck me as a brainier (and therefore, to me, sexier) version of Scarlet Johannsen. I’m not nuts about the cover shot because she looks a bit shiny and photoshopped, but the other two shots are gorgeous.

    • Glammie

      I’ve never seen on TV either, but I liked her in Stardust and that Steve Martin movie. I see her as less like ScarJo and more like a Gwyneth Paltrow without the whole simpering thing–i.e. I like Claire Danes while Gwynnie usually on my irrational hate list–well, not irrational, the dislike comes from the time when Gwynnie got every part she wanted and turned potentially good movies into boring ones. (Though I did like her guest appearance on Glee.)

      (Joining Gwynnie on IH list–Olivia Munn)

  • marlie

    These are great. I saw the rest of the photos from this collection, and they’re all really, really good.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I absolutely love this. I also absolutely loved My So-Called Life. I especially enjoy: “You have to stay hydrated when you have crying scenes.”

    • Glammie

      I liked the whole down-to-earth quality of that quote. She sounds like a grown-up. Like the spread too–beautiful clothes that aren’t all about how much skin you show.

  • dorothea_brooke

    Whatever, dresses, DAMIAN LEWIS.

  • Gaby

    I am in lust with that trench coat.

  • Lola Channing

    Vogue covers are so boring.

  • TheAmericaness

    I’m not reading any comments because I just started season 2. Shhhhhh!

  • ShaoLinKitten

    She is truly a gifted actress. I loved her as Angela and I love her as Carrie. What else I love about her is that she is not just a pretty face. She is unique looking, not a stereotypical raving Hollywood beauty. She looks like a real person, which makes her so much more believable. One of my faves.

  • Jecca2244

    i love her. and love that they got him to participate!

  • stayl

    I haven’t seen the other photos, but I wish they would have done something funny with this.

  • Rebecca Clifford

    Love the pictures and really love her quotes. She comes across as thoughtful and intelligent – kind of a rare thing for an actress of her caliber and particularly for Vogue.

  • Tuneful54

    Appreciate your thoughtful comments. Beyond that, moving on, nothing for me to see here. I don’t like women who get involved with men whose life partner is 7 months pregnant.

  • sleah_in_norcal

    i always think of her first iconic role as juliet. that scene where she first meets romeo, she’s wearing a masquerade costume of an angel and gazing at him through a glass aquarium. unforgettable.

  • Ten Ten

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the styling and the interview – she looks fantastic, and she doesn’t sound vapid or pretentious. <3