Over the past several decades, F. Murray Abraham and Mandy Patinkin have used their classical training (Abraham studied under the great Uta Hagen, and Patinkin attended Juilliard) to become two of the most respected and prolific actors of their generation. F. Murray Abraham IS Antonio Salieri! Mandy Patinkin IS Ché Guevara! (Eeep!) On the Showtime series Homeland (which has only gotten better with age, I assure you), they frequently share scenes filled with the kind of shouty intensity often found between rich and powerful old straight men who are used to getting what they want.
But, if a rumor told to Page Six is true, that animosity continues even when the two aren’t in character, and has become such a problem on the set of Homeland’s sixth season that “production assistants feel like kindergarten teachers when they are on set.” It’s battle of the old male scene chewers, and I am absolutely here for it.
Writes Page Six:
The showbiz insider added that Abraham — who plays black-ops specialist Dar Adal — “is a bit of an egomaniac . . . who makes requests on the set that not even the real star of the show [and co-executive producer] Claire Danes asks for.”
The source says there is so much tension between Abraham and Patinkin — who plays the more popular character Saul Berenson — that “they don’t speak to each other off-camera. Abraham goes out of his way to make it known not to place his chair anywhere near Patinkin’s.”
Absurd requests?! Not putting their chairs together?! Imagine all the other ways this war is manifesting itself!
- Craft services employees are instructed to give each of them two cups of coffee at a time—one for drinking, and one for throwing during a later outburst.
- To avoid the trauma of looking at each other, Abraham and Mandy film scenes together with their eyes closed. Showtime spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a season on special effects teams who open them in post-production.
- In response to the coffee throwing, wardrobe must provide both Patinkin and Abraham two of every costume.
- Patinkin rubs Abraham’s Oscar on his scrotum once a day.
- Abraham rubs Patinkin’s Tony on his scrotum once a day.
- The crew is given two extra breaks each day. One for the daily shouting match during which Patinkin and Abraham scream “Juilliard!!” and “Uta!!!” back and forth, respectively, until they get tired. Another to account for the nap each takes once worn out from all the screaming.
- Abraham siccing Tom Hulce on Patinkin.
- Patinkin siccing Patti Lupone on Abraham.
A rep for the show told Page Six “there is no truth to this rumor” and that Patinkin and Abraham “have been friends for decades.” How much he was trembling while making that claim remains unclear.