Claire Danes Tells Vogue She Nearly Quit Acting Before Landing 'Homeland' Gig

on July 16 2013 2:18 PM
Claire Danes
Claire Danes Reuters

Sometimes it pays to wait. In a new interview with Vogue, Claire Danes revealed that she nearly quit acting altogether months before landing the starring role on the hit Showtime series, “Homeland.”

After receiving critical praise and numerous awards -- including an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award -- for her role as the titular character in the 2010 HBO film “Temple Grandin,” Danes discovered that enticing offers for film and television were not forthcoming. The actress did not work for two years following the film. “I was stuck,” she said.

“It was confusing. I got a lot of plaudits, and it didn't translate into more work. I was really, really struggling during that time," Danes told Vogue. "It was grim. I was very hurt. Two years of not working was brutal. And a point came where I thought, I really like interior design. Someone suggested, 'Maybe your real success is in your personal life.'"

Danes said she sought advice during this time from actresses such as Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Jodie Foster. When asked if she learned anything from them, she replied, “You have to pick your battles on set. You have to come to work from a place of love. You have to stay hydrated when you have crying scenes. You have to go to college. And you have to ask for money because there’s always more money and they won’t give it to you because you’re a girl!”

When she was first offered the part as CIA agent Carrie Mathison on Homeland, Danes told Vogue she was initially hesitant to sign on. “Do I want to play this toxic person for that long?” she wondered at the time.

Eventually Danes agreed to take the role. “I was scared of it,” she said. “And I thought, OK, right, that means I have to do it.”

Danes, who is married to British actor Hugh Dancy, experienced a revitalization of her career as a result of being on the show. The actress has collected a host of awards for her performance, and the series has captured the zeitgeist for its politically relevant storylines.

The third season of “Homeland” premieres Sept. 29 on Showtime.