The actress - who won an Emmy for the series on Sunday (September 23) - admitted to The New York Times that it was important to make a psychological break with her CIA agent character Carrie during the off-season.
"It's been nice to have a reprieve," Danes joked. "I feel I put her in the fridge for a few months, next to the vodka."
She added of returning for Homeland season two: "I was a little nervous about being able to access her straight away again, but no, there she is, right next to the vodka.
"I like her a lot. She means well and she is kind of a superhero. So it is fun to put my crazy Carrie cape on again."
Danes went on to credit Homeland with bringing her the professional satisfaction that she has long desired.
"I do get more pleasure from this than almost anything else… I love words. It is physical. It is intellectual. It's psychological," she explained. "It's like, I get both to ice skate and fly a trapeze, and who wouldn't want to do that?"
Homeland returns for a second season on Sunday, September 30 at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime in the US.
> 'Homeland' star Claire Danes on Obama praise: 'It's hugely validating'
Watch the season two trailer below:
Photo gallery - Emmy Awards 2012 winners:
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