Homeland David Harewood
Actor David Harewood attends the Entertainment Weekly Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee party in Los Angeles January 26, 2013. Reuters/Phil McCarten

Remember David Estes, the deputy director of the CIA’s counterterrorism unit in “Homeland” Season 1 and Season 2? While “Homeland” Season 6 will be back in October 2016 with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), here is a sneak peak on Estes’ real life character.

[Spoiler Alert] The character, played by David Harewood, met a tragic end after CIA’s Langley office bombing. He mesmerised fans with his stern, shrewd and ambitious role in the American political thriller.

Recently, Harewood opened up on his life before he landed the star role. Apparently, he rejected the script following the death of his school friend. He also pointed out the lack of diversity in many TV shows.

In another shocking revelation, Harewood revealed that he considered giving up acting and becoming a lorry driver due to depression, caused by the death of his school friend Luigi Belcuore in 2009. But that was all before he stepped into the shoes of David Estes in the critically acclaimed TV show.

Harewood, now 50, was the first black actor to play Othello at the National Theatre in 1997. But just before his “Homeland” role, he was nearly penniless and had only £80 (AU$161.35) in his bank.

“Before Homeland, I had £80 in the bank and no idea what I was going to do. I seriously considered giving it all up and getting a job as a lorry driver,” Harewood told Radio Times in an interview.

Harewood said that his friend’s death completely broke him as he was the one who always believed that Harewood will someday make it big. He rejected the “Homeland” script without even reading it once. However, on his manager’s insistence, he filmed a lacklustre audition on his iPhone. Harewood “never even did an American accent.”

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Although he was a respected actor even before “Homeland,” it was this TV show that gave him the celebrity foothold. After it, he went on to star in “Supergirl,” and in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film “Grimsby.”

Harewood has been extremely vocal on racism issues in the entertainment industry and society in general. He even said that he would never have got the David Estes role had he been in the UK.

“It still amazes me that Idris Elba is the only black actor in a lead role on British TV,” he said.

Harewood even asked fellow actors to be present at the Oscars in “blackface” as a sign of solidarity when the “OscarsSoWhite” hashtag went viral.