It’s rare you get a chance to see Claire Danes let loose.
The Emmy-winning (and currently nominated) Homeland star, 34, plays an intensive role as bipolar CIA officer Carrie Mathison on Showtime’s hit series – so when she filmed her kooky Audi Smart Performer commercial, she enjoyed venturing away from a serious set.
“It’s nice to just goof off and improvise and be a little silly,” Danes told PEOPLE on Wednesday. “I’m getting ready for a more substantial reprieve from Homeland, which I love and continue to be inspired by – but it would be nice not to be saving the world for a second.”
In Sunday’s spot, presented in a Sliding Doors scenario, the actress plays “a version of myself.”
As Danes explains, “I am leaving set and have to be at an event very soon and all the airports are shut down, so I have to drive a great distance. In one scenario, I’m driven in a town car by a driver and in the other, I drive my own Audi, fuel-efficient diesel car.”
Calling the commercial “pretty nonsensical and absurd,” Danes says, “In the first scenario, everything that could go wrong, does. It’s preposterously, amusingly disastrous. In the latter version, the opposite is true. I’m having an insanely delightful experience.”
She even gets thrown into jail after a cop walks in on her and a deranged doctor impersonator “in a compromising position.”
This concludes the commercial, which also shows her car breaking down, leaving her to pull over after her driver injures himself.