'Homeland' Season 3 premiere: Jackson Pace on Chris Brody becoming the man of the family

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"Homeland's" Season 3 premiere "Tin Man Is Down" shows that Dana Brody had a very difficult time dealing with her father Nicholas Brody being revealed as a traitor to his country at the end of Season 2. A good deal of the premiere episode is dedicated to the Brody family coping with her return home after a suicide attempt, and it's clear that a lot has changed for those closest to the former Congressman beyond just his disappearance.

But what about Chris? The 13-year-old son of Nicholas Brody clearly has grown up a lot in the two months since the events of Season 2's finale, and actor Jackson Pace says that's because Chris realized he needed to man up.

"He really has to kind of take control and be there for everybody else," Pace tells Zap2it on the red carpet at Entertainment Weekly's pre-Emmy Awards party. "You see that a lot; Jessica breaking down and Chris kind of having to be there for her. It's a hard role for him. He's only 13 and he has to take care of his family basically, because Mike isn't there anymore. Brody's obviously not there."

Pace acknowledges that many will miss Nick in Season 3's first two episodes -- "Who doesn't?" he asks -- but that the shift in focus away from the Brody family means more of a focus on the action in the CIA-centric storylines.

"There's a lot more with the CIA, with [Carrie] and Saul. In the last season and the season before, it was really a mix between the family and the CIA. Now it's more of the CIA and kind of more action-y, which I like a lot," Pace teases. But that's not to say the Brodys are written out for good. "[The storylines] still intertwined. Like, they still have people outside their house watching them constantly. It's still all the stuff that's happening before, just more action with the CIA."

Viewers will see Chris and Dana become much closer in Season 3, as already was shown in "Tin Man Is Down." With the Brodys alienated from everyone around them and Jessica having her own problems to deal with, the two Brody children only have one another.

"The kind of drama that happens between the family is kind of what brings them together, because they only have each other to talk to. It's going to be good," Pace says. "Now [Chris is] really getting his own opinion. Before he kind of went with his mom and everything, and now when it's not his opinion, he's usually not on his mom's side and now with Dana's side. I'm hoping for some good teenager meaty stuff coming on."

And Chris really is the man of the family in Season 3. While in previous seasons Jessica would turn to Mike or Brody, now she only has her son. "It's just Chris, so he has to step up really," Pace teases.

"Homeland" Season 2 had its share of critics, but Pace promises that Season 3 will be the Showtime series' best yet.

"I'm looking forward to hearing what [fans] think about it, because I think it's a really good season. I love it," he tells Zap2it. "Each season it's harder and harder to top the other one, but I think this one might have topped it. It's really great."

"Homeland" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Photo/Video credit: Showtime
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