HUNTERSVILLE – Homeland, an Emmy Award-winning television drama, is back in town.
Filming for the show’s third season saw the cast and crew return to Huntersville in mid-July to film at locations such as Albert McCoy Farm, Neck Road Boating Access and Cowans Ford Wildlife Refuge.
The show films much of its scenes throughout the Charlotte area, but much of "Homeland" is set in the Washington, D.C. and Virginia area. The critically acclaimed series stars Claire Danes as a CIA officer and Damian Lewis as a former U.S. Marine Corps sniper.
Karl Golden, the location manager for Pacific 2.1 Entertainment, said Huntersville is an ideal setting to film scenes for the show's third season.
“It’s been a great experience for us,” Golden said. “(The actors) love it. (Co-star) Mandy Patinkin loves the area. He takes his nature walks in Huntersville. We’re all very happy to be here. The local people have been great.”
"Homeland" is no stranger to the region. Several scenes for the show’s first two seasons were filmed in downtown Mooresville, but Golden said it’s up in the air as to whether the crew returns to Mooresville or stays in Huntersville and Charlotte.
“The script dictates where we go,” he said. “We spent a lot of time (in Mooresville) the first two seasons.
The crew has also filmed at Rural Hill and Latta Plantation.
Rural Hill Executive Director Jeff Fissell said "Homeland’s" presence in Huntersville has been a boost to the historic site’s notoriety. It’s also a point of pride for the area as a whole, he said.
“They’ve been wonderful to work with and are very conscientious about taking care of everything (during filming),” Fissell said. “It’s been a lot of fun on every end. Getting to see the inner-workings of a TV show is interesting.”
"Homeland" takes advantage of Rural Hill in multiple ways, he added. Between 20 and 25 full-size trucks and trailers and 100 to 150 cars populate the area during filming. It’s also used for parking when the crew films off-site.
“It’s amazing how they can make it look like the Midwest or any other faraway scene,” Fissell said. “It’s the same place we visit to go to work but it looks different on camera. I think they’ve captured it in its best light. (Golden) has been very understanding and helpful.”
Golden credits Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain and the Huntersville Police Department for being valuable resources when the crew looked into good sets for filming.
“Jill is a great friend to the production,” Golden said. “She’s given us many great pieces of advice for where to film, and the Huntersville Police Department has been (important) with safety. We like being in this area.”
Homeland scores Emmy nominations
“Homeland” was nominated for 11 Emmys, with nominations in nearly every major category, Showtime announced July 18. The 11 nods marked the most ever for a Showtime series. “Homeland” actors Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin and Rupert Friend received nominations. The show also earned a nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, as well as outstanding casting, cinematography, director, sound mixing and writing.