US drama Homeland deemed a smash-hit show
KNOCKING Mad Men off its long-held perch at the recent Emmy Awards isn't a bad way to start a new series.
American drama Homeland swept the recent TV awards, taking home six statues from the nine nominations garnered by the acclaimed first series including Outstanding Drama Series, which had been won by Mad Men the past four years.
"As a new show coming in, we thought it might just be an introduction for us," said Navid Negahban, who plays shadowy Al Qaeda figure Abu Nazir.
"It was good to get so many nominations. I thought if we get three or four of those then that would be ok. It would be a good introduction for next year but coming in and getting six out of nine, that was an amazing, great feeling."
The Iranian-born actor, who has also starred in 24, said the Emmy Awards were the icing on the cake.
"The Emmys were given to us and they acknowledged us and that was a fantastic feeling," he said.
"The most valuable reward that I've been getting is when you are walking down the street and people start talking to you and say 'oh my god this is a fantastic show'.
"In a way, we have started to stimulate a thought process where people start seeing deeper into the situation (American's War on Terror) rather than just accepting what they've been told."
Series two debuted on Aussie screens on Sunday, picking up months after where series one left off.
Claire Danes returns as bi-polar former CIA agent Carrie Mathison, whose now controlled and peaceful life is disrupted by a call for help by the agency.
Damian Lewis also returns as US Marine turned Congressman Nicholas Brody, whose status as a home-grown terrorist is still in question after his former captor Abu Nazir calls upon him to gather intelligence that might be used in a future attack on American soil.
Abu Nazir is still a mysterious figure who seems to have influence across borders and time zones.
Negahban said his character will certainly leave his footprint on series two.
"I think in the second season you will see the influence of Abu Nazir and how Nicholas has to juggle the whole thing," he said.
"The second season delves more into their relationship and how they deal with each other.
"You will see more of his influence in the community. You will definitely see more of his web and how he infiltrates the whole system."
He is full of praise for Lewis, with whom he shares most of his scenes in the show.
"He is very generous when he's on the set, as a character and a human being," Negahban said.
"He went and he researched the character so deeply that he went to a mosque and did the prayers. He wanted to understand the character and the moments he has on the set when you work with him are so engaging that you're not acting. You are there in the moment and that's what I love about working with him."
Homeland - Ten - Sunday at 8.30pm