Much goes on inside the Beltway, but it's not often that a high-profile premiere of a movie or television show takes place within Wi-Fi range of the nation's capitol.
But Washington, D.C. was indeed the perfect location that Showtime chose to screen the first episode of its highly anticipated third season of "Homeland," which is largely set in its environs-- although mainly shot in North Carolina.
Everyone who is anyone associated with the Emmy award-winning drama descended on DC's Corcoran Gallery of Art Sept. 9 for the premiere. There was even speculation that the president himself-- who has publicly identified himself as a fan of the show – might make an appearance, although a little crisis involving Syria disrupted any such contingencies for the Commander-in-Chief's attendance.
All of the show's main talent, including Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin walked the red carpet and posed at the step and repeat set up inside the ornate gallery.
As for the new season, Danes’ character Carrie is still feeling the ramifications of the terrorist attack on the C.I.A. and grappling with her feelings for Brody, who is now on the run after being blamed for the 9/11-like devastation and death.
"Carrie has a rough go of it," Danes said at the event. "I mean, when does she not really? I think she feels profound guilt for having failed to anticipate this attack, you know, obviously the attack that devastated so much of the C.I.A. in the finale, so she's just reeling from that. The C.I.A. is held under serious investigation and they’re having to defend their existence basically."
Baccarin’s role as Brody's wife is evolving. "You get to see a bit more of the home life without Brody, how they're picking up the pieces and moving forward. There's a lot of conflict between Jessica and Dana, a lot of growth that happens there and a lot of heartbreak," Baccarin said.
If you caught that spoiler – yes, spoiler alert -- Brody does not appear in the first episode of the new season. Patinkin wouldn't divulge much more. "I won't give you any details,” he said. “I will say that as an actor in it I have not been disappointed one iota as each script has come to me. I think it is thrilling what these writers are doing. They go into new territory that I haven't imagined."
Patinkin and his cast-mates arrived at the premiere after spending the day at the C.I.A., where the man who plays the acting director met the real director of the intelligence organization.
One cast member told us they were still wondering about the C.I.A. gift shop they encountered – with its C.I.A. branded chocolates, luggage tags, and baseball caps -- adding, “I was wondering why they had it as the public is not allowed in [to Langley].”
"It’s probably a front for something," I replied.
The C.I.A. is so stealth that although a number of guests were affiliated with it, several we spoke to did not have business cards and were not allowed to give their last names. We decided it was best not to offer them our cards, either.
In addition to Showtime’s Matt Blank and David Nevins, Fox’s Gary Newman and “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa, a number of the producers and writers were in attendance – and were allowed to give their names. Actually, they were introduced by the aforementioned executives who made opening remarks before the screening began.
It being Washington politics were of course involved. Longtime
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was there to meet and greet a large number of the guests who reside in his home Los Angeles district and flew out for the event.
Hillary Atkin is the editor and publisher of The Atkin Report, www.atkinreport.com and has written extensively on media and entertainment for USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Daily and WeeklyVariety, The Hollywood Reporter, TelevisionWeek, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Observerand LA Confidential. She is an award-winning journalist who began her career as a television news writer, reporter and producer. As a broadcast producer at KCBS in Los Angeles, she won numerous Emmy, Associated Press and Golden Mike Awards for live coverage and entertainment special events programming, and then produced and directed biographies on Robert Duvall, Elizabeth Montgomery, Linda Darnell and Nicolas Cage for A&E and E!. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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