Episode 601

It’s been 23 years since My So-Called Life last aired, and Claire Danes can still recall how confused she felt over her first on-screen kiss with Jared Leto.

On Wednesday’s episode of The Howard Stern Show, Danes revealed that before filming her first kiss with Leto, the actor had to “teach” her how to follow the stage directions. Then 14 years old, the actress starred on the series as the precocious Angela Chase, whose on-again, off-again relationship with the street-smart Jordan Catalano (Leto, then 21) formed the backbone for the critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama.

“There were these stage directions in that scene where it says ‘Angela kisses Jordan’s face,’ and I was like, ‘What? What is that about? Why would she kiss his face?'” Danes recalled to Stern. “I had that question on set, and he had to try to teach me. It’s ridiculous!”

Credit: ABC; Inset: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

She also admitted that even though the pair aren’t close, she has “great affection” for Leto, who was “fraternal” and “protective” of her when they filmed My So-Called Life because of their age difference. “He seemed ancient,” she said. “He was shockingly good-looking, it was alarming.” Listen to the clip below:

Danes also spoke to Stern about her work on Homeland and confirmed in the episode that season 8 of the Showtime series will be her last. “She’s a lot, this Carrie frickin’ Mathison,” she said. “She’s under constant duress. It’s a workout, so I’ll be ready for a reprieve from that. I’ve never done anything this long.”

Still, Danes’ confirmation doesn’t necessarily mean Homeland itself will end. When asked for comment, a representative for Showtime told EW the network has not made a decision beyond season 8. And in February, showrunner Alex Gansa told The Hollywood Reporter that while he would be departing after the eighth season, the series may not conclude: “It’s definitely going to be my last year,” he said at the time. “I can’t speak for Claire or Mandy [Patinkin], but it will be my final year and it will be designed to be the end of an eight-season story. If Showtime, Fox, Claire, and Mandy want to take the show further that’s their decision, and we would leave some room for that to happen — if there’s an appetite.”

Hear Danes’ chat about Homeland with Stern is below:

Homeland airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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Episode 601
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