Ten Questions for Homeland’s Rupert Friend

Posted by vogue.com. Interview by Alexandra Macon. Dec 6th, 2013

We first fell in love with Rupert Friend when he played Mr. Wickham in Pride & Prejudice—that hair, those lips, those brooding brows!—so it came as no surprise when he sent the Bennet sisters into a tizzy. He followed that with the World War II film The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and then turned in a sexy-as-hell performance as Prince Albert opposite Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria. Which is why we have to confess that part of the reason we tune into Showtime’sHomeland every Sunday night is to witness him in the more contemporary role of Peter Quinn, the devastating black-ops agent. He shocked us when he followed orders and pulled the trigger on Carrie, shooting her in the shoulder and keeping her from blowing the whole operation in an effort to clear Brody’s name. And while that high-intensity thrill may define season three, it’s really the fresh-out-of-the shower scene that keeps replaying in our minds. Quinn is the strong, silent type, but he’s also a thinking man’s sharpshooter, who this season (which has had its fair share of soap opera moments), is grappling with the emotional toll of being an intelligence officer. Here, we try to understand him better with our own mini-interrogation.

Where are you at the moment, now that production on third season is over? How is it readjusting to, er, civilian life?
I’m back in New York, resting up my trigger finger. It’s good to sleep in a real bed again.

What’s coming up between now and next season’s taping? Any projects you’re particularly excited about?
A movie called Starred Up, starring Jack O’Connell. He plays a violent young offender who meets his dad in prison; I play the prison psychologist who befriends him. He’s fucking brilliant.

The third season of Homeland sees Quinn more directly involved in Carrie’s life. Ten episodes in, there’s a lot of sexual tension. Did you and Claire Danes have a sense that this was coming all along?
Couldn’t tell you what Claire knows. Couldn’t tell you what anyone knows for that matter. I’m not even sure what I know.

What was your reaction to reading that Quinn actually shoots Carrie? How did the writers treat it in the script?
When I heard that through the grapevine I thought, Well, I guess if Carrie’s dead, we’re all going home early then, aren’t we? In the end, she was very big about it and took it like a grown-up.

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You seem pretty deft with an assault rifle. What kind of training did you get for the show?
I could tell you, but . . .

And how is life in North Carolina, where you film?
The Blue Ridge Mountains are an incredible place. Ride a motorbike up old Route 74 through Bat Cave and Chimney Rock.

As you’ve kept reading the script, what has been the most surprising aspect of Quinn? He’s a pretty solid character, but has he done anything to shock you so far?
I think Quinn’s biggest surprises are still to come.

And what’s been the most fun you’ve had in the name of Homeland?
Mandy Patinkin’s bum singing opera to me is definitely up there!

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