Islamabad comes to Cape Town in American TV series

(An edited version of this article was published in the Cape Argus, a daily regional newspaper in the Western Cape province, South Africa, on 1 July 2014.)

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Islamabad came to Cape Town yesterday when scenes for the Homeland TV series were filmed at Artscape Theatre in the city.

Young men were walking around in traditional Pakistani clothes, a fake US embassy was set up and soldiers were standing guard with prop guns.

Extras on the set of Homeland TV series, dressed in traditional Pakistani clothes. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

Extras on the set of Homeland TV series, dressed in traditional Pakistani clothes. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

Capetonians working on the popular TV series, starring American actress Claire Danes in the lead, said they were enjoying the experience.

High school student Yaseen van der Fort, from Walmer Estate, said they also met with Danes and one of the male leads, Rupert Friend from England.

“During the filming breaks we introduced ourselves to them. We even took pictures with them. It’s the first time I’m an extra in a film and it’s fun,” he said.

Abdul-Fattagh Dollie, from Athlone, added: “We are supposed to be in Pakistan, fighting against Americans. The Americans are sending drones and we are at war with them.”

Abdul-Fattagh Dollie (with grey cap) and Yaseen van der Fort (in brown cap) on set of Homeland TV series. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

Abdul-Fattagh Dollie (with grey cap) and Yaseen van der Fort (in brown cap) on set of Homeland TV series. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

He said it was his second day on set, while others had been on the set for longer.

A fake US embassy on set of Homeland TV series at Artscape Theatre. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

A fake US embassy on set of Homeland TV series at Artscape Theatre. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

Danes arrived in Cape Town last month to start filming the fourth season of Homeland. Her character in the show, US Central Intelligence Agency officer Carrie Mathison, has bi-polar.

Danes has notched up a number of awards for performance in the TV show, including an Emmy and two Golden Globe awards for best acting.

Since her arrival in Cape Town, various social media updates have appeared online from locals claiming to have spotted her.

Last month the Cape Argus reported on her visit to a children’s crèche in Gugulethu, run by the NGO Ikamva Labantu.

Danes told the paper at the time: “I know this is a reality of this city (Cape Town). I want to have a clear sense of the city in its totality, not just the more privileged versions of it.”

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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