Homeland came to a conclusion after eight seasons earlier this year, but director and executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter says Showtime’s Claire Danes-led, action-packed spy drama always found a way to live on the edge right up until the end.
“It was always a new experience. You could never kind of lay back and rest. You were always having to be 100% there,” said Glatter, who picked up an Emmy nomination for her work on the final episode of Homeland‘s final season. “I love being a storyteller.”
Glatter talked about her biggest takeaways from the Showtime drama during Deadline’s Contenders Television: The Nominees virtual event. The 2020 Emmy nom makes for Glatter’s seventh nomination overall on the series, which itself has been a multiple Emmy winner in past years.
Homeland‘s series finale “Prisoners of War,” which saw Danes’ Carrie Matthison turn on longtime mentor and White House National Security Advisor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), was “loaded with possibility and landmines,” Glatter said. She told Deadline’s Dominic Patten that the finale’s surprising but ultimate betrayal and the last twist in Moscow brought the show full circle and allowed Danes and Patinkin to showcase their skills in more personal circumstances.
The director’s relationship with two actors, whose Carrie and Saul are among the final original characters to make it the length of the eight-season run, is one of things Glatter said she’ll miss most about working on the show. She lauded the two co-stars for their willingness to “go as deep and wide as possible” to make the show’s narratives of betrayal, risk and sacrifice as believable as possible.
“It’s like you’re working with race horses that can do anything. You give them the slightest little nudge and they’re off in another direction,” she said. “They are fearless.”
Glatter went on to sing the praises of Homeland creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon. From the show’s debut season to months filming much of the final episodes in Morocco, the veteran director said the Gansa- and Howard-led writing staff were consistently open to creative changes and feedback. The remarkable Homeland team of Hollywood veterans and global industry folk, from California to Marrakesh, are not only responsible for the show’s constant reinventing itself but also for another unforgettable television experience in Glatter’s book.
“I think you only get a few of these experiences in a career where it was very much about not being the smartest person in the room, but being the room with the smartest people,” Glatter said of a mission truly accomplished.
Check out the video above, and click here to watch all of Sunday’s Contenders TV panels.