Phillip Chin/WireImage
Gillian Telling
October 19, 2016 05:53 PM

British actor David Harewood has been acting most of his adult life, but, thanks to popular roles on Homeland and Supergirl, the actor is just now finding huge success in Hollywood at age 50 — which is something that amuses him greatly.

“I’m very very used to feeling anonymous, you know?” he tells PEOPLE of suddenly being recognized on the street and at his local Starbucks. “I mean, I feel like a Kardashian here in Vancouver [where Supergirl shoots.] It’s crazy!”

Not that Harewood minds the sudden attention. “I suddenly feel quite valued, which is wonderful,” he says. “People come up and say very nice things about my work, like ‘You were great in Blood Diamond!’ Producers recognize you and your work … I suddenly feel like all that hard work, all those theater jobs and carrying bags up and down the country for one night gigs … all led to this.”

Harewood says that prior to landing the role of CIA counterterrorism director David Estes in Homeland, he nearly quit acting altogether. “I hadn’t worked in a year, and had no idea what I was going to do … now here I am on American TV shows and walking around the Golden Globes. It’s wonderful. I was literally a month away of not being able to pay the mortgage before I got that show.”

Though his character was eventually blown up at the end of season two on Homeland, Harewood has no regrets about saying goodbye to that character. “Honestly, getting blown up was the best thing to ever happen to me,” he says. “The following year, everyone was like ‘What the hell happened to that guy?’ And it opened so many doors because people wanted to meet me to tell me how much they missed the character!”

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