Homeland Found Its Second Wind Thanks To A Series Of Real-Life ‘Spy Camps’

Claire Danes talked to the Guardian in 2020 about pivoting away from Brody’s death from a creative standpoint, detailing her and the rest of the “Homeland” team’s experiences attending an annual “spy camp” event in Georgetown, Washington DC. The camp was a meeting place for people from different parts of the intelligence world, including the CIA and NSA. Invaluable knowledge was shared between colleagues and their counterparts, all of which the “Homeland” crew would benefit from when creating the storylines for the show. To Danes, it was a means to get to know different parts of the spy community, which would later be incorporated into the series:

We’d meet at nine and the revolving door was in constant motion, depositing one story and then another, and they were often told by people who had very different ideologies and political positions. It was a huge privilege because you really did get to look into a crystal ball from all these amazing sources and get a fairly clear picture of what our reality might be like in a year’s time.”

The interest was a two-way street, too. The former director of the CIA and NSA, Michael Hayden, discussed having a prolonged input on “Homeland,” and revealed that the show’s crew got quite accustomed to it all:

A lot of times it was, ‘OK, what’s happening now?’ We talked about that and then they talked about whichever plot they were thinking about. […] It’s interesting, because the more we did it, the more they had our kind of questions.

With renewed interest and knowledge in the spy world, the Showtime series would find its second wind after killing off Brody, who had already overstayed his welcome by the end of the third season.

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