homeland sam trammell
Source: Showtime

'Homeland' Sam Trammell Teases Final Episodes: "There’s Going to Be a Surprise With Me"


Apr. 12 2020, Updated 1:00 p.m. ET

It's all coming to an end...

For 10 years, viewers have been following the intense and suspenseful life of CIA officer Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in the politically charged series, Homeland.

In Season 8, audiences were introduced to U.S. Vice-President-turned-President Benjamin Hayes, who has proven to be stubborn, indecisive, and as actor Sam Trammell describes, kind of a "villain." Yes, we certainly agree with that! 

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Ahead of the show's finale, Distractify spoke exclusively with Sam about the final few episodes, his character's story arc, and more. 

Check out our Q&A below. (Editor's note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)   

homeland sam trammell
Source: Showtime
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'Homeland' star Sam Trammell teases President Hayes' story arc, final episodes, and more.

Distractify: First, are we going to see President Hayes making a thought-out decision for himself instead of relying on his foreign policy advisor John Zabel (Hugh Dancy), who many fans have dubbed a villain of the season, before the show is over? 

Sam Trammell: Well, I currently kind of am a villain. We’ll see what happens at the end and what kind of decisions I’ll make. It’s all kind of coming to a head in Pakistan of all places. ...

My character, he’s just such a great character; he’s such an obstacle for Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Carrie (Claire Danes) and really the whole administration. I feel like he’s kind of a dangerous character because he’s a little unpredictable. He seems to really believe what he believes, but he has a hard time making decisions. He’s easily influenced by certain people and Zabel has come in and got his ear. 

Can you tease if fans’ perspective of your character will change in these final episodes?

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ST: I’m sort of reluctant to say! I feel like that might potentially be a spoiler. Let’s just say, at this point, I’ve sort of fanned my peacock feathers by threatening Pakistan and Pakistan is not backing down. I’m freaking out a bit. I’m not definitely sure of the decisions I’ve made. I’m jumping into this ring surprised that the other person is too. … There’s second-guessing. I’m going through hell right now. I don’t think I’m happy that I’m actually the president at this point.

homeland sam trammell
Source: Showtime
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In the teaser for Episode 10, it seems your character has another important decision to make. Let troops cross the border and risk war in Pakistan, or ...?

ST: There’s going to be a huge ... something that nobody is expecting, which is, of course, what the show does so well. It’s really gonna get personal with unexpected characters and let’s just say that crossing the border is. ...

Being at the border is an extraordinarily dangerous situation to be in. I think we’ve, to a certain extent, underestimated Pakistan’s resolve and the Pakistani peoples’ resolve.  

As we head into the final episodes, can you tease Hayes' story arc?

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ST: There’s going to be a surprise with me. If you think you know me, I feel like you don’t really know Hayes yet, but you’ll know Hayes much better by the end. It’s sort of hard to get into his mind because he’s done a lot of contradictory things. He was listening to Wellington (Linus Roache) at first, and now he’s listening to Zabel. You’re going to learn a lot more about him and see more of his true colors by the end. 

homeland sam trammell
Source: Showtime
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I read that you got the final script and the last 10 pages were not there. Did you ever get those final pages and do you know how the series comes to a close? 

ST: No, and as far as I know, they were rewritten until the very last second, like two days before. Literally at production … not a total rewrite, but they were really, really, Alex [Gansa] and Claire and Mandy, they were all so diligent about looking at every angle and making the end as satisfying and surprising and amazing as possible. 

I never did see the last 10 pages and so I’m as much a fan as anybody, in the last episode. As far as waiting to see what happens, those two people, the people in production, and the crew knows what happens. ...There are different storylines happening and I know how most of them end. But, I don’t know how some other ones end. 

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

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