Claire Danes: Next Meryl Streep or ‘Nerd’? (+Photos New and Old)
Claire Danes: Next Meryl Streep or ‘Nerd’? (+Photos New and Old)
Actress Claire Danes arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2012. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Actress Claire Danes arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2012. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Hugh Dancy and wife Claire Danes attend the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6, 2013. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for People.com)

Hugh Dancy and wife Claire Danes attend the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 6, 2013. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for People.com)

Actress Claire Danes mingles with guests during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., April 27, 2013. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Actress Claire Danes mingles with guests during the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., April 27, 2013. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Actress Claire Danes attends Showtime's 2012 'Emmy Eve' Soiree at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., on Sept. 22, 2012. Danes was pregnant with her son, Cyrus. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actress Claire Danes attends Showtime's 2012 'Emmy Eve' Soiree at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., on Sept. 22, 2012. Danes was pregnant with her son, Cyrus. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Claire Danes attends the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2012. (Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

Claire Danes attends the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2012. (Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

Actress Claire Danes attends the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 24, 2012. (Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TIME)

Actress Claire Danes attends the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 24, 2012. (Fernando Leon/Getty Images for TIME)

Claire Danes arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, at the Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2012. (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)

Claire Danes arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, for the 84th Annual Academy Awards, at the Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, Calif., on Feb. 26, 2012. (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)

Claire Danes holds her Hasty Pudding Pot at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Jan. 26, 2012. The Hasty Pudding Theatricals named her Woman of the Year and presented her with the Pudding Pot. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Claire Danes holds her Hasty Pudding Pot at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Jan. 26, 2012. The Hasty Pudding Theatricals named her Woman of the Year and presented her with the Pudding Pot. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

On June 3, 2005, Actress Claire Danes attends batting practice for Project A.L.S. at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York City. Project A.L.S. is a not-for-profit organization working to find and fund treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

On June 3, 2005, Actress Claire Danes attends batting practice for Project A.L.S. at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York City. Project A.L.S. is a not-for-profit organization working to find and fund treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. (Brad Barket/Getty Images)

On Oct. 14, 2004, actress Claire Danes answers questions from the audience following the Variety Screening Series showing of 'Stage Beauty' at the ArcLight in Hollywood, Calif. (Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

On Oct. 14, 2004, actress Claire Danes answers questions from the audience following the Variety Screening Series showing of 'Stage Beauty' at the ArcLight in Hollywood, Calif. (Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

On Feb. 10, 2003, actress Claire Danes attends the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2003 Collection fashion show at the 26th Street Armory during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

On Feb. 10, 2003, actress Claire Danes attends the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2003 Collection fashion show at the 26th Street Armory during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

 On Oct. 15, 2002, actress Claire Danes arrives at the 2002 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at Radio City Music Hall 15 in New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

On Oct. 15, 2002, actress Claire Danes arrives at the 2002 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at Radio City Music Hall 15 in New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

On July 25, 1998, Clair Danes and then-boyfriend Ben Lee attend Sean Lennon's performance at the Virgin Mega Store. (Getty Images)

On July 25, 1998, Clair Danes and then-boyfriend Ben Lee attend Sean Lennon's performance at the Virgin Mega Store. (Getty Images)

Claire Danes called herself “a big old nerd” in an recent interview with Vogue magazine when asked about Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 statement, “Claire Danes is the Meryl Streep of her generation.” 

Vogue‘s Elizabeth Rubin describes Danes’s “power and modesty.”

Winnie Holzman, the playwright and creator of My So-Called Life, the series that brought Danes fame in the 1990s, told Rubin:  “Claire can be awkward and graceful and beautiful and not so beautiful and tortured and calm, and we have all that roiling inside of us, but we are so often typed or labeled.”

She began to doubt herself when she did not get offers for any serious roles during the two years before she landed the role of Carrie Mathison in the television series Homeland in 2011. She considered going into interior design during this dark and discouraging period without work. Yet her role as Carrie, a bipolar CIA officer, earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama in 2012 and 2013. 

She has sought advice from Meryl Streep, and other female Hollywood greats. She told Vogue: “I’ve had conversations with them. Meryl, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster.” They told her: “You have to pick your battles on set. You have to come to work from a place of love. You have to stay hydrated when you have crying scenes. You have to go to college. And you have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl!”

Danes is a Yale graduate. 

 

 

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