Mandy Patinkin says he "broke down and started crying" when he read the plot twist revealed during this season's fourth episode of "Homeland," which aired this past Sunday.
"(The writers) blow me away," Patinkin told CBS News during an interview Wednesday
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"When I read what happened in the fourth episode which was aired this past Sunday, I'm a very emotional person. I broke down and started crying," Patinkin admitted. "I couldn't get over the creativity of the writing team. I mean, I read that ... I couldn't believe what they'd done."
In the Showtime TV series, which stars Claire Danes as an unstable yet brilliant CIA operative and Damian Lewis as a former Marine turned Islamic terrorist, Patinkin plays the fictional CIA Acting Director Saul Berenson.
When asked by CBS' Charlie Rose, who described himself as an avid "Homeland" fan, what attracted him to the character and the show as a whole, the veteran Tony and Emmy winning actor said he was immediately attracted to it by the relationship between his and Danes' characters.
"I could see immediately the potential for it, but as I became more involved with it, the nerve it touched for me was the lost art of listening that I feel we suffer from everywhere in our country and our Congress, the world at large," Patinkin said. "I think it asks us on a family level — both the family of Saul, the Brody family, Saul and Carrie, the FBI, the people of the United States of America, the people of the world — to try to learn to listen to each other again."
Patinkin also discussed his meeting the current head of the CIA, John Brennan, at the beginning of the show's third season when he and other members of the cast were invited to the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Va.
"We had a very interesting chat and it was very powerful meeting him," Patinkin told CBS. "I've been in the Oval Office a couple of times and I've met presidents. I actually ... found it more powerful being in his office."
Contrary to Brennan's often stern outward appearance, Patinkin said, "I actually felt him [to be] very warm and kind, and concerned about the people he cares for. His team and the lives that are at risk and sometimes lost, and what that does to his heart."
The actor noted in the interview that at the time the character was created, Michael Morell was technically in charge of the agency as the acting director, though Patinkin suggested Brennan was likely running things behind the scene at the time.
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