Mandy Patinkin thrilled to be part of Emmy winner "Homeland"

Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:29pm EDT
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By Kurt Anthony Krug

(Reuters) - "Homeland" returns for its second season on Sunday with a clutch of Emmy awards, and stage and screen star Mandy Patinkin hopes the psychological TV thriller will keep on stirring dialogue about the fractured post-9/11 America and the world it portrays.

"I am invigorated by it beyond all words. I'm just thrilled to be a part of it. It is one of the great experiences of my professional life," the veteran of 40 years of acting said in a telephone interview.

Patinkin, who won a Tony in the 1980 Broadway production of "Evita" and an Emmy for TV hospital drama "Chicago Hope" in 1995 but may still be best-known for his Spanish swordsman role in the 1987 fairy-tale movie "The Princess Bride," said he was attracted to "Homeland" by the quality of the script.

"I just thought it was extraordinary writing. I could see the potential in this material to have an extraordinary dialogue in terms of a post-9/11 era discussing where we are as a nation and as a world populace in terms of why did that act occur? What was happening in the world before? And what's happened since in the past 10 - now 11 - years?" Patinkin said from his New York home.

"The company of the actors and the writing staff is of the highest caliber I have ever had the privilege to be involved with," Patinkin, 59, said.

"Homeland" won six Emmys at Sunday's awards ceremony, including the top prize for best drama series, and acting honors for leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

Patinkin plays CIA operative Saul Berenson, the mentor of brilliant but bipolar counter-terrorist officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes).

Mathison is obsessed with the idea that war hero Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a POW for nearly 10 years, has been turned by al Qaeda into a sleeper agent.   Continued...

The cast of "Homeland" L-R: David Harewood, Mandy Patinkin, Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Jackson Pace, Morena Baccarin, Morgan Saylor and Diego Klattenhoff, pose after the series won the Emmy award for outstanding drama series at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles September 23, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni