A thrilling ride for Rupert Friend

Posted by Deccan Chronicle.  Feb 5th,  2017

It is no secret that Homeland is one of the most acclaimed television series of recent times. Not only does it have a compelling story but a very strong cast. One of the forces in it is Rupert Friend, whose role as CIA paramilitary officer Peter Quinn, has been lauded by many and has seen a smooth transition from Hollywood to television screens. He tells us more about the latest season of the hit show.

Q Tell us more about your character in Homeland season 6?
Homeland is doing something I don’t think any TV show has done before, where you have a character in season 6 and he’s basically unrecognisable from the previous seasons. Peter has been to hell and come back, and not necessarily in one piece. He’s not really even sure if his life is one that’s worth living.

Q We’ve heard that you prefer to do your own stunts, right?
Right. It’s definitely part of my enjoyment in exploring someone else’s life in everything physical; the voice, the physicality, everything. So, doing the stunts is really important to me. For me, I always feel just for the sake of some sort of truth, even if I’m not maybe as slick as the stunt guys, that it’s more realistic if I can do it. People have been very encouraging and worked out of hours for me and rehearsed with me.

Q Homeland seems to be a very American story, about American families and problems. But it’s very popular in other countries too. Why do you think?
First, I disagree that it’s about American problems. I think what Homeland does which is appealing internationally, is that it’s talking on the one hand about patriotism and national security, which is obviously prevalent in any country with a military. I think that that has relevance to anyone, regardless of nationality.

Rupert Friend in the episode 6.03 of Homelad

Rupert Friend in the episode 6.03 of Homeland

Q Can you talk about Homeland as your first TV series?
It started to become apparent to me a couple years ago that TV in America was entering the most exciting period of its progression. It reminded me of what independent film was like in the 70s over here. You know, we had Mad Men and we had The Wire, Homeland, Breaking Bad… the work was just of superior quality. I had been excited by cinema for a long time, going to it or reading stuff. The things that I was excited with then, no one would fund. To be honest, quality wins.

Q What was it like joining the cast of a show that’s so successful in its first season for season two? Were you a fan or were you intimidated by joining?
I was a huge fan, I watched the first season avidly. I watched it every single week, and was understandably very shocked and thrilled to be invited to join the second season in a sort of recurring role. I guess the thing is when it’s that good, if the next season’s bad, it’s my fault.

Q Your acting debut came opposite Johnny Depp. At that moment, people like Catherine Tate and David Tennant had just started to break into Hollywood, whereas they’re huge stars in the UK. How difficult is it to break into that market?
Jack Nicholson always said something that struck true to me — you don’t choose to become a star, it chooses you. And again, I genuinely don’t feel qualified to talk about stardom because I never felt that I had attained that at any point. But certainly, I think being on a show like this has international ramifications, a lot of British things are fantastic, but don’t necessarily travel, and if they do travel, they’re often reinterpreted like The Office.

Q What has Homeland done for you as an actor, in terms of your confidence?
I just feel lucky to be working with people who care that much. I think there’s quite a lot of cheap shortcut entertainment makes at the moment because it’s easy; technology being what it is, and to have something that really starts with quality is a privilege.

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