Claire Danes Sets First Post-Homeland Role in Apple TV+'s The Essex Serpent

Claire Danes The Essex Serpent Apple TV Plus

Carrie Mathison’s spying days may be over, but Claire Danes isn’t done with TV just yet.

The Emmy-winning Homeland alum has signed on to star in the Apple TV+ period drama The Essex Serpent, the streamer announced on Wednesday. Based on the bestselling novel by Sarah Perry and set in Victorian England, the series centers on Cora (Danes), a widow recovering from an abusive marriage who moves from London to the small village of Aldwinter and becomes “intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.”

Anna Symon (Mrs. Wilson) will serve as lead writer on the project, with Clio Bernard (Dark River) as director. Danes replaces Keira Knightley in the lead role; Knightley was originally announced as the star when Apple ordered it to series in August, but later had to drop out of the project for family reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Danes already has a prolific TV career under her belt: She first broke out as teen Angela Chase on the short-lived ABC drama My So-Called Life, earning a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination in 1995. She went on to star in the HBO original movie Temple Grandin in 2010, earning a Globe and an Emmy for her portrayal of the autistic title character, before taking on the role of CIA spy Carrie Mathison on the Showtime drama Homeland the following year. Danes won two Emmys and was nominated for three more for Homeland; this marks the first role for Danes since Homeland wrapped up its eight-season run last year.

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