Pop Culture

Showtime gets bloody again with 'Homeland'

Showtime is no stranger to showing blood and torture (think “Dexter” and “The Tudors,” for example), and with its new series, “Homeland,” the network is presenting still more, this time with a prisoner of war.

Damian Lewis plays Marine Sgt. Scott Brody, who is rescued years after going missing in Iraq. His loyalty to the United States is questioned after his return by CIA agent Carrie Anderson (played by Claire Danes), who believes he may be part of a terrorist plot by al-Qaida.

When asked about filming the grisly scenes of his character’s torture, Lewis jokingly compared it to mornings with his 3- and 4-year-old children at home, then “I oddly enjoy it. I was being peed on and I’m kind of enjoying this. Is that wrong?” he said.

Because the torture is so much a part of who his character is, Lewis believes it’s important to show it. “I enjoy the way in which it informs the character going forward,” he said. “I don’t mind filming that stuff. … I’ve been hung upside down, I’ve been beaten in the head, beaten with a club with a barbed wire wrapped around it.”

But it’s not gratuitous.

“We’re keeping it as real and as brutal as those things are. It’s not for sensationalist reasons, it’s not for shock value,” said Lewis. “It’s for a strong psychological reason, to break someone physically, emotionally and psychologically so he’s then malleable.”

“Homeland” debuts at 10 p.m. on Oct. 2, after the “Dexter” season premiere.

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