Claire DanesClaire Danes won an Emmy earlier this year for her incredible performance as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison in acclaimed US drama Homeland. And she admits she knows how lucky she is to have been handed such a meaty role.

‘There are very few opportunities to play characters that are this rich, this active,’ she says. ‘It’s a filet mignon of a role.’

Claire spent time with real-life intelligence agents to research her role, and was surprised by what she saw.

‘I was just struck by the fact that these spies do really spy-y things! They’ll get into a car crash with somebody – they’ll literally bump into somebody to initiate and then cultivate a relationship.’

Claire, 33, who’s married to British actor Hugh Dancy, 37, is currently pregnant with their first child, and while Carrie has stayed resolutely not pregnant, thanks to clever trickery from the Homeland crew, Claire admits she is looking forward to becoming a mum.

‘I’ve been fantasising about this for a long time. I want to know: who is this person? I just want to meet this little nugget! Who’s this – she, he – gonna be?’

Homeland is on C4 tonight at 9pm