Damien Lewis
Credit: Todd Wawrychuk/ABC
Episode 601

When Damian Lewis received news of his first Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination, he was not doing anything particularly glamorous. In fact, it was wonderfully ordinary: He was shopping in the streets of London with his child in tow.

And as a day of shopping turned into a day of celebration for the actor, EW got him on the phone for a quick chat about the start of what’s likely going to be a busy award season for him and his Homeland cast mates and about the show’s upcoming season finale.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Homeland has had an outstanding year — probably culminating with a huge performance at the Emmys. Now, you’re closing out the year with a SAG nomination. How’s it feel?

DAMIAN LEWIS: It’s amazing. I’m very happy. It’s very flattering that people are watching it and liking the show as much as they are and especially to get recognized by your peer group. You know, they’re craftspeople in the same industry so it’s particularly gratifying. It suggests that they see some craft in what you’ve done and that’s very flattering. It feels fantastic.

The nomination comes at a great time, too. The show closes out its second season on Sunday. Is this episode going to seal the deal for more awards?

I think Sunday night is going to be an incredible episode. Everyone seems extremely happy with it. I haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll be sitting down with you guys and watching it. But, you know, every season it’s difficult, isn’t it? I thought last season’s ending was incredible — and most people adored it — but there were one or two people who might have wanted something different. So hopefully we’ll be able to please most of the people. I think it will be an emotional, nuanced, character piece.

Well, in the last episode, we killed off Abu Nazir. How does the finale set us up for next season with another major player gone?

Well, the two biggest villains of the piece were really Abu Nazir and the vice president — and Brody is caught up in that, too. He’s a man who’s been turned and confused, and he’s really the last one left standing. We’ll see what he’s going to do. Maybe they’ll kill him off this Sunday.

Ha. Ha.

[Joking] You know, get rid of all three of them, then they could tell an entirely new story next year. Maybe that’s what they want to do. But, really, I can’t remember because I have post-traumatic stress disorder from doing the show. So I can’t remember the ending.

Well, you’re signed for next season. So that’s a good sign.

I’m signed for seven seasons.

There you go!

But that doesn’t mean anything. You know that. They can kill me whenever they want.

That’d be sad, considering Brody and Carrie just got to a good place. Of course, Quinn is still creeping around, though. So can you preview that clash for me?

Well, you know, Quinn is clearly there doing somebody’s bidding. It speaks nicely to the theme of people being watched — even within the CIA. And I think Quinn will have a large part to play in the last episode. We’ll have to see. Maybe Quinn gets a bullet — or maybe he’ll be around for more of being a menace. It goes to show that all is not what it seems — that’s another great theme of the [show]. There are surface characteristics and then what goes on underneath. It’s sort of Hamlet-ian. So it’s difficult [to say] because all is not what it seems in Homeland. Anyone can turn at any point. We’ll see.

Last, I have to bring up the great, SAG-award worthy scene between Jess and Brody in the last episode. What’s going on with them in the finale?

You’ve seen the choice he’s made in that episode. I don’t think they’re coming back together any time soon, if that’s your question. I think he’s made his decision and she’s made her decision, too. I don’t think it’s all about Brody. She’s just as empowered in this relationship. Brody is like a canker sore; he’s come back, damaged — like a seeping wound — from war. And he just infects everyone around him…it might be better for the Brody family that Brody isn’t with them.

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