The 18-year-old Georgia native gave us the scoop on filming intense scenes with Claire Danes and working with her on-screen love interest Timothée Chalamet.
Congratulations on the show’s win at the Golden Globes! You were gorgeous onstage.
“Thank you! It was a big surprise for us. Someone brought us from the Fox viewing party, which is on the same property, and we were standing in the back of the show hoping our name would be called so that we wouldn’t have to turn around and walk back from where we came from.”
So you weren’t sitting in the crowd with the other nominees?
“They don’t like to have kids at the actual Globes, which I think is lame. After we won, we snuck back to the table and stayed there the rest of the show, which was really fun!”
Your dress was beautiful. What were you wearing?
“Brad Goreski was my stylist and that was a Naeem Khan dress. It was the first dress I tried on and I fell in love with it.”
How long have you been working with Brad?
“This is our first thing together. Literally!”
Have you been juggling school with the Globes?
“I’m a senior at a public school in Atlanta and I’ll graduate in May. I flew out Friday morning. I try to miss as little school as possible. I had a photo shoot Monday, went back Tuesday night on the red eye, and was back at school Wednesday morning. I only missed three days, which is good. I talked to all my teachers and got my assignments and have been working on them.”
During the show, do they work around your school schedule?
“Not really, no. The show films June through November, so it’s nice because I have two months of summer where I get to be on set and focus solely on that. But then in August, September, October and a little bit of November, I’m juggling both. I live in Atlanta and we film in Charlotte, which is just a four hour drive, so I do get to go home a lot and physically be in school.”
So did you go to any parties or did you just go home?
“I stayed for the show and then we all went to the Fox after-party. We sat around with the cast and the writers and were super psyched!”
In the final episode of season one, your character Dana Brody has a huge scene with Claire Danes. What was that like?
“Getting to act with Claire was really fun because it was something I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season. We tried to film the ending in one big scene, but it was too much—too much for the camera and too much for us. There was a lot of back and forth between me and Claire, and a lot of lines to know. We would mess up a lot. It’s similar to the way a lot of things have been this season, like the car chase and the hospital scene.”
The hospital scene! What was that like? How did you prepare for that?
“I was just pretending I was literally in the scenario, which isn’t always the way acting is. Guy Pearson directed that episode and he’s really fantastic. Chip Johannessen wrote that scene and he was there, too. It was a big day! I was the only regular actor on set. It involved me getting worked up, walking into frame, and being in the moment.”
Dana has turned into a moral compass for the show in season two. How cool is that?
“It’s crazy! Who would have thought that from the first episode the pot-smoking teenager would know what’s right and what’s wrong.”
You and your sometimes-boyfriend Finn, played by Timothée Chalamet, are so good together!
“We’re really, really good friends. I love Timothée. We met on set and clicked. We’ve stayed in great touch. I’ve flown in to visit him in New York and he’s come down to Atlanta to hang out with my friends. It’s never been a romance, we’re just genuinely good friends. We’ll be friends for a long time, I think.”
What do you want to see for Dana in next season?
“I don’t understand where it’s going to go. Today is the day the writers are having their first storyboard meeting and I won’t see a script for months!”
What’s your off-screen relationship with Damian Lewis, who plays your dad?
“I like Damian a lot and I admire the actor he’s become. I really enjoy working with him. We’ve had some great talks about acting and growing up. I really love his kids, too. They’re my favorite! It’s fun to hang out with them when they come to Charlotte; we go to the pool or hike. It’s really nice to know each other’s families.”
When you watch the episodes, are you surprised about how they come out?
“Sometimes, yeah! You know how when you read a book and it becomes a movie, and it’s different than you pictured? In some ways, acting is a lot like that. I watch the show with my best friend and her extended family, and it’s really fun to see their reactions. I’ll look at their faces when I know something big is about to happen and it’s nice to see how they react.”
Homeland was your first job right? You did theatre right?
“I did some theatre. I had some smaller roles in a couple TV shows and films. I used to think I did a lot of acting, but my ‘career’ started when I started Homeland.”
How many auditions did you have?
“Just two. I got a call back with Alex Gansa and Michael Cuesta who wrote and directed the first episode. I walked out of the room and felt like it was going to happen. It was one of those good feelings.”
You achieved this amazing role at such a young age! You’re such an inspiration to my readers. Do you have any advice for young people trying to achieve a big dream?
“Keep going and really be psyched about what you do. Everything you’re doing is a chance at an opportunity, so why not give it your fullest and try?”
Do you have any plans for when you graduate?
“I’ll probably be filming. I did apply to college, which was kind of weird, and a spontaneous decision. We’ll see where that goes!”