Writer Meredith Stiehm, 44, shares similarities with Homeland‘s Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes): both work in male-dominated places (Stiehm is the Showtime series’ sole female writer) and both have personal connections to bipolar disorder (Stiehm’s sister, like Carrie, suffers from the condition). Stiehm has penned some of the series most acclaimed and talked about episodes, including season one’s “The Weekend,” where Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie go to her cabin in the woods, and season two’s “New Car Smell,” in which Carrie finally arrests Brody.
“I didn’t come in until like episode 4,” says Stiehm. “[Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa] created the character and the show. Around episode 4, they realized that there were all male writers and they had a female lead so they wanted a female writer.” Adds Danes, “She’s really incredible. Her voice is so distinctive and so honest and funny. She has a very wry sensibility that’s so in keeping with who Carrie is. But she also is very warm and feeling and all of that translates into all her work. I owe an enormous amount to Meredith.”
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