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Cast and Crew of Showtime's 'Homeland' Meet With CIA -- 'They Busted Our Chops a Little Bit' USA Today

Showtime's acclaimed CIA-focused drama series "Homeland" hasn't gone unnoticed by the real-life CIA. The agency hosted the cast and crew of the show in a boardroom meeting and headquarters tour Monday, with CIA Director John Brennan among those taking part in the "covert operation," USA Today reports.

"We had a lot of questions and they had a lot of questions," said Morena Baccarin, who plays Jessica Brody, the wife of congressman and terrorist Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis. The actress quipped: "It was all very classified."

"For Claire Danes who plays bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, it was her second visit to the agency," the report notes. Said Danes: "It's always so thrilling and moving to meet the people who really do so much to protect and defend our country."

"But what about Danes' troubled character, who often breaks the rules and is portrayed as constantly on the edge of a complete breakdown?," the story asks. Danes: "Obviously they acknowledged that this is a fairly imaginative take on reality. But I think they appreciated the emotional honesty and integrity of it."

Showrunner Alex Gansa was also on hand, and commented on what was described as a thoughtful question-and-answer session between CIA staffers and the "Homeland" crew. Said Gansa: "They busted our chops a little bit." He noted that the CIA people reminded him, "You can't bring a cellphone into the CIA, and on the show we have people calling all the time."

Gansa added: "We were having a debate about who had to be more secretive."

The story notes: "The visit was probably most important to Mandy Patinkin, who plays Saul Berenson, who is now director of the CIA on the upcoming season of the show in the wake of a bomb going off at the CIA headquarters at the end of Season 2."

Said Patinkin: "The director (Brennan) came in and spoke eloquently. And then he asked me to come into his office because he knew I was the director of the CIA."

Asked whether Brennan is a fan of "Homeland," Patinkin said: "He's never seen it. I don't think he watches much television."

The report adds: "Brennan took Patinkin into his office, which the actor noted was 'very similar to the office they made for Saul Berensen. ... I must say it was a powerful office to be in. I felt the responsibility of that room.'"

Thumbnail image for mandy-patinkin.jpgMandy Patinkin