Claire Danes on taking time to discover herself

Claire Danes in Homeland

Looking back at her earlier career and the fame of her 1994 show My So-Called Life, Claire Danes admitted in an interview that she always took herself very seriously.

“I think because I am as earnest as I am, people were accepting of my evolving into a certified, legitimate…grown up.

“When I was 18, I went to college for two years and didn’t work for a year which was essential for me, because my identity had been so influenced by my being an actor, and I think I just needed to discover what it was to be myself, divorced from all that responsibility.

“So I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t acting out of habit, but because of a genuine interest and passion and I have lots of competing interests in, I wanted to respect that about myself and give myself a chance to genuinely explore other possibilities.

“I finally realized that yeah I did want to be an actor and it wasn’t out of habit, but I needed to grow up for myself and then kind of re-enter the industry with a sound understanding of what my sensibilities and my values are as a relatively formed human being.”

[From The Virgin, The Whore, and Claire Danes – Terminator 3 Interview, by Paul Fischer; photo from Showtime/Homeland.]

“Lots of interests” is an experience of many artists. There are many articles on my various sites on this topic, including Multitalented Creative People – Quotes by and about Leonard Nimoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Xavier Dolan, Juliette Binoche, Viggo Mortensen, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Natalie Portman and others.

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Empowering Yourself

Danes also has commented:

“I was told that my going to college wouldn’t be good for my career. I think that’s nonsense. It’s good to empower yourself by cutting yourself off from this business every once in a while.”

[See more of her thoughtful quotes at]

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But involuntary breaks can be hurtful, make you question your validity as an actor.

Danes notes she was looking for work for two years before getting her role in “Homeland.”

“It was confusing. I got a lot of plaudits, and it didn’t translate into more work. I was really, really struggling during that time. It was grim. I was very hurt.

“Two years of not working was brutal. And a point came where I thought, I really like interior design. Someone suggested, ‘Maybe your real success is in your personal life.’ ”

From article: “6 Actors Who Almost Quit Acting” By Briana Rodriguez, May 15, 2014,

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Artists and intensity

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind

Related article: Intensity and Being Creative.

A personality trait that may often accompany high sensitivity (experienced by many, or most, creative people) is high intensity.

You can see some forms of intensity in many actors and musicians.

Jodie Foster once commented about Russell Crowe, “He has that glacier intensity.”

Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski developed a theory of personality and emotional development that is often applied toward understanding the psychology of extra intelligent and intense, gifted and talented individuals, including artists.

One aspect of his Theory of Positive Disintegration is the concept of unusual intensity and reactivity, which he called overexcitability.


Article publié pour la première fois le 28/07/2015