After her award-wining performance in 2010's Temple Grandin, Danes set her sights on other fulfilling and challenging roles, but found none meeting her criteria. "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 the magazine. "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 even when Danes was offered the role of Carrie Mathison, the actress hesitated. "Do I want to play this toxic person for that long?" Danes asked herself. But once she read the script, Danes was so impressed by the writing and intimidated by the character that she couldn't resist. "I was scared of it, and I thought, OK, right, that means I have to do it," Danes recalled.