Why Claire Danes Almost Switched Careers

From acting to ... interior design?

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2013 10:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – After Claire Danes won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award for her role in Temple Grandin, she couldn't find another job ... for two years. "I was stuck," she says in a new Vogue cover story. "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. 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." But the creators of Homeland saw the movie, and Danes' performance resonated with them, leading to her lead role as a bipolar CIA agent on the TV show. More highlights from the interview:

  • When Danes was first offered the role of Carrie Mathison, she thought, "Do I want to play this toxic person for that long?" But she was considering two roles at the time—the other was J. Edgar Hoover's secretary in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar—and, she recalls, "I was like, 'Do I want to play the secretary to the boss man or do I want to be the boss man?' I want to be the boss man."
  • She took a break from acting post-Brokedown Palace to attend college because "I was confused," she says. "I had a lot of opportunity and no way of knowing what I wanted to do with it. I needed to figure out who I was, what I liked." She calls the experience (2 years at Yale) "heaven."
  • On what she's learned from "Meryl, Susan Sarandon, Jodie Foster": "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!"
Click for the full profile, which includes a psychic's fascinating prediction about Danes' then-unborn son.

This magazine cover image released by Vogue shows actress Claire Danes on the cover of the August 2013 issue.   (AP Photo/Vogue)
Claire Danes arrives at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
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