Claire Danes may be a Hollywood darling at the moment, with a starring role on the hit Showtime drama "Homeland" and a Golden Globe on her mantel thanks to her part as bi-polar CIA operative Carrie Mathison, but she didn't always feel like one.
There had been ebbs and flows throughout her acting career, which began back when she was a teenager in the '90s, but after a more recent dry spell a few years back, it seemed her Emmy award-winning turn as autistic animal scientist Temple Grandin in the 2010 acclaimed HBO biopic, was going to turn things around. It didn't.
"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," the 34-year-old says in Vogue's August issue. "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.'"
And while Danes was offered some roles during that period, her standards for which parts she was willing to take were higher after "Temple Grandin." "I just couldn't play dinky — you know, the girl," she explains.
Not playing "dinky girl" parts meant passing on an opportunity to reunite on the big screen with Leonardo DiCaprio, with whom the actress starred in 1996's "Romeo + Juliet," one of her first big-screen leading roles.
The same week Danes auditioned for "Homeland," she also tried out for the part of J. Edgar Hoover's secretary in the 2011 flick "J. Edgar," with DiCaprio playing the famous former FBI director.
"I was like, 'Do I want to play the secretary to the boss man or do I want to be the boss man?'" she recounts in the interview. "I want to be the boss man. I was scared of it, and I thought, OK, right, that means I have to do it."
[Photos: See Claire Danes's Best Red Carpet Looks]
Since "Homeland" started airing in the fall of 2011, Danes has found a new level of success thanks to the show, which elicits the same kind of edge-of-your-seat viewer addiction — and endless discussion — as former fabled cable series like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" did.
But that comment a friend made about finding success in her personal life looks like it still stands.
The New York native married British-born actor Hugh Dancy in 2009 after meeting him on the set of the 2007 film "Evening," and the couple welcomed their first child — a son named Cyrus — late last year. The new mom had both of her men on hand when she accepted her Golden Globe (and got to meet President Clinton!) at the ceremony back in January, which happened to take place just a month after she gave birth.
"I went on the red carpet, went upstairs, fed Cyrus. Went into the ceremony, got the award, went back to feed Cyrus, went out again … Then it was 'Now you meet the president,'" she recalls. "I had these new boobs; I'm wearing a big Jessica Rabbit dress, and I'd been living in sweat pants for so long … It was strange. It was dreamy, surrounded by my parents and my husband. It was one of the best nights of my life because of this perfect mash-up."
The August issue of Vogue hits newsstands nationwide on Tuesday, July 23.
Check out photos of "Homeland":