American actor Mandy Patinkin says his eight-year-long stint on Showtime’s critically-acclaimed series Homeland has been an educative one as it brought him face-to-face with the issues faced by the intelligence community.
The 67-year-old actor essays the role of Saul Berenson, a mentor figure to the show’s protagonist, intelligence officer Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes.
After starring in the show that revolves around the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Patinkin said he feels privileged that he got to interact with real people who work on the field.
“It certainly increased my comfort zone of discussing world issues because of the individuals I’ve been exposed to, the privilege of opportunity I have to ask questions to people who are not actors but who are dedicated to this way of life, both in defending the country, gathering intelligence and being members of Congress and the Senate and asking questions about how the world operates.
“So the ‘E-ticket’ one gets when one is in a global storytelling mode is extraordinary. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s been an education to say the very, very least,” the actor said.
The eighth season, which premiered in India on Star World on February 16 and will air every Friday at 10 pm, marked the end of Homeland.
Patinkin said he doesn’t have one particular scene or episode that can be called his favourite because he considers the show as a “novel that is 12 chapters long, times eight years”.
“For me, it’s the totality of it all. I always ask people to remember it’s not about a scene, and it’s not about an episode. It’s a novel that is 12 chapters long, times eight years and to really be critical of it or give any kind of feedback, you have to have read or watched all of that and hear all the different points of view.”
Although the show has now ended, Patinkin believes it will live on forever, just like Frank Capra’s 1946 Hollywood classic It’s a Wonderful Life.
“I was watching a lot of things, and then I said to Kathryn, my wife, ‘Can we put on the black and white version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ tonight?’ And we did. And it’s pretty old, and it lives on.
“And I was weeping profusely throughout it on a million levels. And ‘Homeland’, all 12 episodes times 8 years, will be around as a lot of other things will be around that have been and will come, and so it won’t go away because of the magic of film. And that’s magical,” the actor said.
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