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Homeland’s Mandy Patinkin Says Saul Changed His Life: ‘I’m Not About to Leave That Fellow Behind’ (Exclusive)

Mandy Patinkin Homeland
Mandy Patinkin as Saul in ‘Homeland.’ Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

Ever since its 2011 debut, Mandy Patinkin has been one with his Homeland character, Saul Berenson. So, just because the series will come to an end after the seventh season, that doesn’t mean he’ll be saying goodbye to Saul.

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“Saul Berenson changed my life. When you get to live with someone that closely — and I got to be as close as anybody could be to Saul Berenson and it’s the kind of human being that you want to inhabit you — you are unbelievably grateful,” the actor, 67, told Us Weekly exclusively at the New York City premiere on Tuesday, February 4. “I’m not about to leave that fellow behind. He will come see me often. He is a conglomeration of all the most extraordinary people I’ve met in my life.”

The Tony Award winner, who’s been acting for 45 years, added that he doesn’t feel like the show “will ever come to an end,” despite the news that the upcoming season is the last.

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“Only time will tell. I’ve been involved in certain things in my life and they sort of never end because people want to talk about them and they come up,” he explained to Us. “There are aspects of Homeland that, people I’ve met and work with, the aspects of the character that the writers blessed me with, who taught me how to be literally a better human being — how to listen better, be kinder, more even-keeled, how to work harder for humanity. It changed my life.”

Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes Homeland
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in ‘Homeland.’ Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

Patinkin, who portrayed Carrie’s (Claire Danes) mentor throughout the series, later raved about his bond with the actress.

“From hello, my full life was about ‘I want you, Claire, to feel comfortable with me. I want you to trust me and I want you to feel you can do anything, anything in the world. I want you to know that if you want to throw a dagger at me, I will know that it will stop right before it touches my skin. I want you to trust me,'” he shared with Us. “It was a privilege.”

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Additionally, the Princess Bride star was taken aback by Danes’ “monumental and overwhelming” talent. “She taught me about grace. I’m twice her age. I had to wait that long to learn it, but I got, I got it before I checked out,” he said. “What more can you ask? She’s like my child — a gift, like your own children are a gift. I’ve been with her more than I’ve been with my own kids the last eight years!”

Homeland‘s final season debuts on Showtime Sunday, February 9, at 9 p.m. ET.

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