Claire Danes, who just won an Emmy for best actress in a drama series (for Homeland), has a new interview with NPR where she talks about what it’s like playing a bipolar person on Homeland, as well as taking herself seriously.
When talking about playing a bipolar character, Danes says, “"I had to do a lot of research for this role. And actually, I found great material on YouTube. There was a lot of footage of people who recorded themselves when they were in manic states. I think they were probably up in the middle of the night and lonely and, you know, needed to talk. So they talked to the camera. So I gorged on sort of manic confessionals on YouTube. They talk at a very fast clip. But, you know, it's not a strictly unpleasant phenomenon. A lot of people are reluctant to treat themselves because they're so protective of those manic highs."
She also talks about taking herself seriously, and says, "I got an agent when I was 12, and I started working in more amateur productions well before that. But even as a kid, I never felt like a kid actor, you know? I always took myself kind of absurdly seriously. My first offer was when I was 12, and it was for a soap opera. And I turned it down because I knew that I was an unformed actor, and I didn't want to develop bad habits."