Danes studied hard for Homeland

Claire Danes

Claire Danes did “bipolar homework” for Homeland.

The blonde actress is returning as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in the eagerly-anticipated third season of the award-winning TV show. Throughout the first two series audiences watched her alter ego struggle with a manic-depressive disorder and embark on a love affair with former soldier and potential terrorist Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis.

In order to get back into the mindset of troubled Carrie, Claire turned to the internet to help get back into character.

“Last season, she was pretty stable, so I did have to brush up on my bipolar homework. So I read some more books this year. I found that the most valuable resource is YouTube videos,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “There are a lot of blogs kept by people with the condition and they are often talking directly to the camera in hypomanic states – observing them is really, really helpful.”

Carrie’s intense role has led to her being nominated for the 2013 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Emmy Award, which she won last year. Although the 34-year-old star, who has son Cyrus with her husband Hugh Dancy, finds preparing for filming emotional after watching various videos online she enjoys the challenge.

“I kind of binge on those YouTube videos before I go to work and kind of reacquaint myself with that state of being, and I’m very moved by what that is like, the struggle they have to go [through]. But it’s fun. I like that kind of work,” she smiled. “It’s not very often we [as actors] get to play such extreme states of being. So I get to go really far [and] it’s all justified.”

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