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Alex Cary

Producers/Writers

Alex Cary is currently a writer and co-executive producer of Showtime's "Homeland". Full bio/credits below.

Questions

  1. Alright we’ll just jump in. Describe Alex a bit of what a typical day might be like for you on Lie To Me from Showrunner to just being a Writer/Producer?
  2. Have you ever needed to fire a Guest cast actor? And/or have you had to discuss this amongst your fellow producers and then how are they replaced in 8 days?
  3. From the producer’s chair in drama TV, what do you feel is the director’s #1 job?
  4. As the head of a show do you actually have a line item in the budget for how many actors you may Taft-Hartley and pay the fee for hiring a non-union actor or is it really just something you decide on organically throughout the season?
  5. State the items that are removed from your job description, if any, when you’re only required to be a writer on an episode as opposed to producing it too?
  6. If I am a Top-of-Show guest star on a hit series and it is a show that has Table reads…how would you describe my level of “preparation” for the table read? Performance ready, rough knowledge of the script…etc. Etc.?
  7. So an unknown actor, being pro-active, snail mails a piece of actor marketing material directly to you on purposeÖtypically how would you handle that?
  8. Have you ever pushed strongly for an actor, you did not know prior, to be hired and then they fell flat on their face during shooting…and how do you handle it?
  9. Why in drama television does it seem that the longer and more successful a show runs the more producers and co-producers seem to be on the show? Does it somehow become 3 times as difficult to produce it just due to longevity and success or is it just about money?
  10. How does someone manage to become…you? I mean, how do you get a job as a Drama Television writer in today’s world…aside from plain ole nepotism?

About the Guru

Alex Cary is currently a writer and co-executive producer of Showtime’s “Homeland,” which will premiere on 10/2/11. Alex was born and raised in London, spent 7 years in the British Military, and came to Los Angeles fresh from the Gulf War, in search of Harley Davidsons, women, and a new, safer career in the Film Industry. After a few years of writing ad copy and short stories, with moderate to little success, Alex turned to TV writing. In 2005 he wrote 5 original pilots and sold 2, neither of which was made. Since then, he has sold a bunch more pilots, here and in London. In 2007, Alex was staffed on the second season of FX’s “The Riches,” a job which was cut short during the production of the seventh episode (one which he wrote) by the Writer’s strike. This short lived job was not only an introduction into writing and producing TV, it was an opportunity to work very closely with two interesting actors ñ Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver. Almost every day of the writers strike, Alex walked around in circles outside Fox, and was often deployed downtown in the middle of the night to disrupt the shooting of some of his least favorite TV shows. After the strike, in the mad scramble for jobs, Alex was fortunate enough to get staffed on USA’s “In Plain Sight”, where he remained for a season before being hired on the second season of “Lie To Me.” Alex started as a story editor, graduated to executive producer and finally showrunner – all in one season. “Lie to Me” went for a total of three seasons. As of 8/15/11, Alex will start writing his third episode of “Homeland” which stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin.