Claire Danes, 34, dishes on her extensive acting career in her cover interview for Vogue's August issue
, including passing up one high-profile movie role for another one on television. But it wasn't just any television role -- the TV role turned out to be the chance to play Carrie Mathison on Homeland
, and her critically acclaimed performance has already earned her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy.
"When I read the script, the writing was so good, and the cliffhanger was amazing," Danes tells Vogue about reading the initial script for Homeland.
But at the time she was considering two parts in the same weekend -- she had also just auditioned for the coveted role of secretary to Leonardo DiCaprio's J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's 2011 biopic. She has already memorably starred alongside DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, with Luhrmann calling her "the Meryl Streep of her generation" at the time.
"I was like, 'Do I want to play the secretary to the boss man or do I want to be the boss man?,'" she remembers. "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."
Having grown up in the spotlight -- many still fondly remember her as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life (she was 14 years old at the time) -- she also reflects on maturing in Hollywood, and some pretty personal life choices that have become infamous tabloid fodder.
"I'd left my childhood love after seven years, Ben Lee, an Australian singer-songwriter. My real guy," she surprisingly shares about her life in the early twenties. "Then I started dating Billy."
"Billy" is of course actor Billy Crudup, who left his then-girlfriend Mary-Louise Parker, who at the time was seven months pregnant with his child.
"I was segueing into: 'I'm a grown-up now,'" she says, calling the experience -- as well as her break-up with Lee -- "scary and horrible."
But these days, she's happily married to Hannibal star Hugh Dancy, and she gave birth to their son Cyrus last December.
On the many ways being a mom has changed her, she recalls meeting Bill Clinton at the Golden Globes -- while nursing baby Cyrus!
"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,'" she recalls. "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."
The August issue of Vogue hits newsstands July 23.