Much of us know Claire Danes as the erratic Carrie Mathison from the declining Homeland.
In the past, major TV Drama roles have been the savior of declining actors, or good ones needing that break. Danes was in the latter category.
Her career got off to a fine start with a delicate performance as Juliet in Romeo + Juliet (1996), the publicity of which was aided by how she was opposite the hot-new-property Leonardo DiCaprio.
She failed to capatalise on her exposure; it was 7 years before she landed another major role in the Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). Fast-forward another 4 years and she plays a leading role in the surprising Stardust (2007). Still she managed to avoid capitalising on the success.
Then came Homeland, along with the complex, fractured role of Carrie. Claire grabbed the chance with both hands and helped the show, with her career, to success.
The problem for Danes is that when Homeland finally does end, she will be dumped back into Hollywood in a worse place than she was before.
As explained in a previous post about actors who cannot shake off their career defining roles, one killer character is only a blessing to someone who gets many of them. It will continue to propel their career as people return to it and others like it in an actor’s back catalogue.
For an actress like Danes, someone who hadn’t defined her career previously, that killer role will forever solely define her, and the identifiable nature of her face as Carrie will arguably make her unemployable.
Before Homeland Claire Danes’ career had plenty of spark (3 sparks, to be exact), but no fuel. Homeland has given it that fuel, but she has lost her spark. Claire Danes is now a boring commodity.
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