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Weekend Reading: Claire Danes On Bipolar Disorder

In the wake of her success with Temple Grandin* (the 2010 biopic portraying an autism advocate of the same name) Claire Danes is taking on another character who deals with mental health issues: Carrie Anderson, a CIA agent with bipolar disorder.

Gist Of It: Agent Anderson is suspicious that Sgt. Nicholas Brody, an American Marine who was held captive for eight years in Afghanistan, isn’t the hero America has portrayed him to be; rather, he’s working for the terrorists.

Of portraying someone with bipolar disorder and how that particular mental illness might play a role in the character’s job, Danes says:

I find the challenge is finding a way to play the truth of her being chemically unstable and also a really proficient, highly capable CIA agent. How can those two things coexist? They’re related in some ways [the job and the disease]. They both involve paranoia and when somebody’s mind is susceptible to that, they’re constantly questioning themselves and the world around them and that translates pretty easily into her work.

Head over to The Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy for the full interview.

“Homeland” premieres this Sunday night (October 2) at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Check out Showtime’s official “Homeland” page for more.

(Temple Grandin, is a woman with high-fuctioning autism whose work in autism advocacy has included everything from working with livestock to revolutionize certain autism treatment practices to inventing the hug machine. Learn more about her at her website,

Image Credit: Don Kowalewski per these Creative Commons License Attributions

Weekend Reading: Claire Danes On Bipolar Disorder

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2011). Weekend Reading: Claire Danes On Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Sep 2011
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