Claire Danes was ''elated'' after spending the day with the CIA.

The actress was delighted to meet staff at the government organisation to prepare for her role as CIA operations officer Carrie Mathison in television drama 'Homeland' and was fascinated to see how they operate.

She said: ''They were very forthcoming about their experiences. I was elated after that day.

''It was a thrill to peek inside that culture.''

Claire's character suffers from bipolar disorder and the 32-year-old actress ''gorged'' on YouTube footage of people who are stricken by the mental illness in order to help her portrayal of the disease.

She said: ''I watched YouTube videos of people who are manic, and need to talk, and are eager to communicate their feelings.

''I just gorged on these videos. Every case is unique.''

While Claire finds appearing in the show as such an emotional character ''taking'', she admires a lot about her Alter Ego.

She said: ''Its taxing. I like her so much. There's a part of her that's a superhero.

''She's supernaturally intelligent, and I wish I had that gift.''

'Homeland' is the story of a released US prisoner of war, played by Damian Lewis, held captive for eight years by Islamic terrorists. Claire's character Carrie believes he is an agent for al-Qaeda and is planning a terrorist attack.