How ‘Homeland’ Director Lesli Linka Glatter Navigated the ‘Landmines’ of the Series Finale

TheWrap Emmy magazine: “‘Homeland’ started out with a traitor masquerading as a hero, and it ended with a hero masquerading as a traitor,” Glatter says

A version of this story about Lesli Linka Glatter first appeared in the Emmy Hot List issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

Lesli Linka Glatter has received six Emmy nominations for directing, one for “Mad Men” and five for different episodes of “Homeland.” But even though she’s been working on that show since its second season in 2012, she said there was something very different in this season’s “Prisoners of War,” which was the final show of the series’ final season.

“When you do a series finale, there are landmines everywhere,” she said. “That script was talked about and worked on until the very end. And we didn’t get the script for the last 20 pages until right before we shot, which was nerve-wracking but also exciting.”

The final season, she added, was the first time that much of “Homeland” had been shot in California, which they had to do after problems with the logistics of shooting in Morocco, where the season began. “Since we reset the series every year and were always in a new country starting over again, it never got easier,” she said. “But this past season took the cake. The whole command outpost in Afghanistan, we ended up building and shooting in Santa Clarita (California). That was different from any other year, and very stressful.”

The particular challenge of the final episode, she said, was finding a way to complete the eight-season story of the characters played by Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. “It was so much a dance between Claire and Mandy, with everything literally coming full circle in terms of the story. I loved the symmetry of that.

“I can’t take credit for this, because somebody else wrote it, but ‘Homeland’ started out with a traitor masquerading as a hero, and it ended with a hero masquerading as a traitor. I thought that was a great description for what we did with these layered, complicated characters.”

Read more of the Emmy Hot List issue here.

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