Is Claire Danes the greatest crier of her generation? This isn’t a topic to which we’ve devoted the kind of deep thought necessary to make a definitive statement, but off the top of our heads, and considering the evidence provided in the above supercut we’ve all just watched, all sad roads to the title go directly through her quivering lips.
Take these three examples from the video:
- “I hate parties. There are too many people.”
- “I long to die!”
- [Nervous breakdown as the CIA destroys the color-coded Brody Terror Collage she spent all of Homeland Season 1 pasting to her living room wall using only her tears as an adhesive.]
Though the “cry face” is fundamentally the same — the mark of a virtuoso is not that she constantly changes instruments, it’s the ability to coax from her chosen one a beautiful array of tones — these moments represent an astonishing breadth of misery on demand. So bone-deep is her dramatic upset that one imagines she can’t be much fun on crying days; there must have been many times when Mandy Patinkin has tried to initiate a friendly “holla/challah” exchange by the craft services table, only to prematurely trigger the anguish-geyser she’d be saving for her scene and find himself scrambling to hide all the nearby utensils lest his disconsolate costar try to open a vein with a cream-cheese spreader. There’s probably even a secret on-set code word for when the waterworks arrive ahead of schedule, to let everyone know it’s sad-go-time, something like, “Fuuuuuuuuuuuck, get her in front of the camera! Hurry! Hurry!”
That we’re even considering these scenarios speaks to Danes’s immense command of craft. So let’s just hand her the trophy (a version of the SAG Actor statuette modified to be holding two “sad masks”) and be done with it. We’re not going to do better.
Sorry, Jon Hamm. Not your day.