Claire Danes nearly quit acting before she landed a part in 'Homeland'.

The 34-year-old star considering a career in interior design when she was ''really, really struggling'' after failing to land a role for two years following her Emmy award-winning appearance in HBO drama 'Temple Grandin' in 2010.

She said: ''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.'

''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.''

Despite her concerns, Claire went on to land the part of bipolar Carrie Mathison in the US drama series, and while she is to reprise her role for a third season in September, the blonde beauty often worries she will forget how to portray the character.

She added to Vogue magazine: ''I always have the fear that I won't be able to do it, because I am convinced that it's left me and I don't know how I managed it before.

''You just hold out for those rare moments when you feel a real fusion with this imagined person.

''It's really like surfing. You get that wave and think, All right, I can be in freezing-cold water at 5am in the hopes that I will get one. And maybe you get three of those a year.''