Tag Archives: Alex Gansa

‘Homeland’s’ Tracy Letts, Writer of ‘August: Osage County,’ Says Oscar Mania is Frustrating

tracy letts

It’s not often that I feel like I’ve unearthered tons and tons of new material from a subject, but that’s exactly what happened when I spoke with the brilliant Tracy Letts for this Daily Beast profile about his role on Homeland (he plays Sen. Andrew Lockhart), and the upcoming movie August: Osage County, which he adapted from his Pultizer-winning play. He was full of great stories, and didn’t pull any punches, like when he talked about the Oscar buzz surrounding August:

However, Letts is upset that the early reaction to August has been almost entirely in terms of its Oscar potential. Though he says “I hope it wins everything,” Letts admits that the awards season mania is “beyond frustrating. Man, this obsession with the Academy Awards in particular, who fucking cares? It drives me nuts. How the fuck are you going to compare Gravity with August: Osage County? Could you have two pieces any more different in every conceivable way? They’re both in color and they both have George Clooney involved with them [who is a producer on August], and that’s it. So I don’t know how or why you’re supposed to compare these things.”

He also talked about getting married in the hospital after emergency gall bladder removal, a story that seems like it should be a part of whatever he writes next. Also, Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa tells me about wooing Letts for his first role in front of the camera since 2006.

Homeland’s Tracy Letts, Writer of ‘August: Osage County,’ Says Oscar Mania is Frustrating

Revealed: Behind ‘Homeland’s’ Surprising ‘Princess Bride’ Connection


For whatever reason, I have a knack for spotting minute details in Homeland screeners. That skill came in handy as I watched an early screener of Season 3, and noticed what seemed like a reference to Mandy Patinkin’s famous line in The Princess Bride scribbled in Carrie Matheson’s notes. She writes, “You killed my son — prepare to die!” I caught up with showrunner Alex Gansa at TCA summer press tour and asked him about the reference for a new Daily Beast item.

Was the Princess Bride reference intentional? “Of course it is!” Homeland executive producer Alex Gansa tells The Daily Beast of its inclusion early in Season 3. “We didn’t expect to use it so prominently. But the fact is that it looks so great, the physical representation of her mania, right there on the page. So there it is, right in front of your eyes.”

Gansa also told me who came up with the idea — and what Patinkin thinks about it.

Revealed: Behind ‘Homeland’s’ Surprising ‘Princess Bride’ Connection