Claire Danes Isn’t Sure Where Her ‘Cry Face’ Comes From

at 2:08 pm | By

Claire Danes‘ performance as Carrie Mathison on Homeland has garnered critical praise, sure, but its also turned Danes’ face into a meme: The Claire Danes Cry Face. In a New Yorker profile, Danes talks about the face that launched a thousand Tumblrs (and a Saturday Night Live sketch).

“I don’t even know how it happens, but I start shaking. My body expresses it. It’s really fun when it starts becoming physicalized. It’s not necessarily a conscious decision. It’s a little mysterious to me.” That kind of porous physicalization comes, in large part, from Danes’s early training in dance, which she began at the age of six. “Dancing is a kind of drawing,” she said. “I’m interpreting what I’m hearing with my body. Acting is like that, too.” She added, “I use my body to generate feelings a lot. If I have a very emotional scene, I’ll often walk in circles before. It gets you out of your head. I’m not afraid to use it.”

The profile also goes on to describe Danes’ pun-heavy sense of humor. She once gave a friend a slip with Sigmund Freud’s face on it (a Freudian slip). She also penned a “forensic two-page e-mail” describing her roast-chicken recipe in grand detail for Homeland co-star Mandy Patinkin. The email closed with a thyme-time pun. She owns a hand-shaped hamburger timer (hand burger timer). And so on. So it’s not always autism and dead brothers and sleeper terrorist cells for Danes.