Homeland Is Coming to an End — See the Stars Then and Now Ahead of Series Finale
The finale of the hit Showtime series airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET (WARNING: spoilers ahead)
Danes, 41, has played Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent with bipolar disorder, on the psychological thriller series since it premiered in 2011. The award-winning actress has said she's grateful to receive positive feedback from people with the disorder.
"I never wanted her being bipolar to be a gimmick or just a convenient plot device, and I tried to be as specific and informed as possible," she recently told The Guardian. "It's a really fascinating human condition. I developed such respect for people who work as diligently as they do to just make it through a day."
And there's no doubt that she's going to miss Carrie: "I loved her. It was just so nice to play the smartest person in the room, somebody who was so daring and unapologetically ambitious and such a badass."
Patinkin, 67, has played intelligence adviser Saul Berenson, Carrie's longtime, no-nonsense mentor, throughout the eight seasons of the show. The award-winning actor recently told CBS This Morning that he's "very pleased" with how the show concludes, though his final scene with Danes was "very tough."
"I wasn't ready for it at all," he said. "We were both mutually weeping and holding onto each other for dear life. We started this in 2010, so it was virtually 10 years of our lives."
And he's learned a lot from his character, who he says has made him a better man. "He was a better listener than I ever was, he was a kinder, gentler human being than I was, and a more empathic human being than I was ... He will go with me wherever I go for the rest of my life."
Lewis, 49, played Nick Brody, a retired American soldier and former prisoner of war turned spy. He was the main antagonist of the early seasons until he was publicly hanged at the end of season 3.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly at the time, Lewis said while shooting his final scene was "unsettling" and "distressing" due to the nature of his character's death, he was satisfied with the way his storyline ended.
"I wanted him to go out with a bang. I wanted him to have a grand finale. I didn't expect a hero's finale because Brody is not a hero ... he's a damaged man," he said. "I just wanted it to resonate, I wanted it to be moving, and be very affecting in the way he goes to his death with so much unsaid, so much undone."
Friend, 38, played CIA paramilitary officer and assassin Peter Quinn from seasons 2-6. After his character was killed off, Friend told Variety the moment was "bittersweet."
"For me it was a modicum for peace for someone who has been through so much and even though it wasn't their design, could now finally rest," he said. "I felt that for him to continue would be almost a bit sadistic. I'm not really sure in what capacity that would make sense. It would be quite a cruel storyline. In a sense, I think his time had come."
Sterling, 48, played Max Piotrowski, a freelance surveillance expert. A fan-favorite character from season 1 and one of Carrie's most trusted associates, he was shot to death during last month's season 8 episode "Threnody(s)."
"Nobody is safe," Sterling said of Homeland cast members in an interview in February with the Wall Street Journal. "That's part of what makes it good."
F. Murray Abraham
Abraham, 80, played Dar Adal, an old school CIA agent and longtime friend of Saul's, from seasons 2-7.
During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, the veteran actor reflected on his 50+ years in entertainment and admitted he's still "learning so much" from his younger counterparts.
"They just walk in and they've got it. It's an extraordinary experience. It's lightning quick," he said. "I come from a place where you have three to four weeks of rehearsal. Even though I've done a lot of TV, it's still a learning process, and it's admirable."
As for whether he has any plans to slow down? "No! Slowing down is dead," he insisted. "Give me a break."
Since season 1, Hargreaves, 50, has played Carrie's sister Maggie Mathison, a psychiatrist who provides her with anti-psychotic drugs for her bipolar disorder and a shoulder to cry on.
"I love that whole team, from Claire to Alex Gansa, the showrunner," Hargreaves told CBSN Denver last year. "It's such a great team and so much of the crew has been there on and off since the beginning."
"To play with Claire and share these scenes with her is so special," she added. "She is so fantastic and such a lovely person."