Claire Danes Turned Down Leonardo DiCaprio Role To Star In ‘Homeland’

James Johnson - Author

Mar. 11 2017, Updated 4:25 a.m. ET

Claire Danes has received critical acclaim for her turn as Carrie Mathison on the hit TV series Homeland, a role she took after turning down a co-starring role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

Homeland has won Danes a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy. However, the same weekend she was offered the starring role on the TV show, Claire was also offered the chance to play secretary to Leonardo DiCaprio’s J. Edgar.

While the role of DiCaprio’s secretary was highly coveted, Claire Danes in the August issue of Vogue explains her Homeland decision:

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“When I read the script, the writing was so good, and the cliffhanger was amazing.”

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Danes had a tough choice to make. She had already appeared as Juliet next to DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. The Hollywood stars had plenty of chemistry, but, as Danes explains:

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“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…. I was scared of it [the Homeland role], and I thought, OK, right, that means I have to do it.”

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Claire Danes grew up in Hollywood, first appearing most prominently as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life. Talking about growing up in Hollywood, the actress proclaims:

“I’d left my childhood love after seven years, Ben Lee, an Australian singer-songwriter. My real guy. Then I started dating Billy.”

“Billy” is actor Billy Crudup, who left then-girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker, who was seven months pregnant with his child. Danes further explains:

“I was segueing into: ‘I’m a grown-up now.”

Danes is now married to Hannibal star Hugh Dancy, and she just gave birth to son Cyrus in December.

Claire Danes also tells a story about motherhood and how she met Bill Clinton while breastfeeding:

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“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,’ 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.”

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You can read Clare Danes’ full interview in the August issue of Vogue which hits newsstands July 23.


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