Valerie Plame Wilson for TIME: TIME 100: The List, Claire Danes

April 18th, 2012

By Valerie Plame Wilson
Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

CIA analyst Carrie Mathison, played exquisitely by Claire Danes on Showtime’s Homeland, is exceedingly hard to like. She steals medication from her father, sleeps with married men and counts no close friends or even hobbies, with the exception of appreciating the complexity of jazz. Carrie does not suffer from the common female need-to-please trait and, in fact, insists she is usually right. She is impulsive in a job that rewards patience and lies to the few people who can tolerate her. When she turns on the charm, it is always for calculated effect. It’s absolutely maddening.

And yet … you can’t take your eyes off her. You root for her because those very despicable qualities also make her extraordinarily good at her mission.

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