Homeland star David Harewood was left feeling "unnerved" after a lunch meeting with a real-life CIA agent turned into a fully-fledged interrogation.
The actor talked to a female secret agent to research his role as Central Intelligence Agency boss David Estes in the hit TV drama, but admits he failed to keep his cool and ended up telling her all his secrets.
He recalls, "It was supposed to be me pumping her for information. Instead, I suspect I told her far more about myself than I wanted to - or realized I was doing. If I'd been a terrorist, she would have had a confession out of me within minutes. She was in her 40s and had been working for the CIA since she was 18. That much I got out of her. There was a hint of cleavage, and to anyone watching, we would have seemed like an ordinary couple.
"But the moment we sat down, she fixed her gaze on me and not once did she avert her eyes. I was aware that she was forensically examining me, making a mental note of any habits or flaws, storing away everything about me.
"On the surface, it was all very affable. But I was unnerved. I tried looking away, but she kept her eyes locked on to mine. She was very, very good at not giving anything away. I knew I was being given a highly professional once-over, and I was never going to penetrate that hard outer shell."
The Brit insists it was an invaluable experience, adding, "(I learned) that these people are very intense, ruthless in their determination to hunt down the bad guys, and they never take anyone at face value - they are burrowing deep inside your psyche."