09/11/2012 04:07 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2012

Mandy Patinkin: 'Criminal Minds' Was My Biggest Public Mistake

Mandy Patinkin is opening up about his abrupt "Criminal Minds" exit.

Patinkin, who currently stars on "Homeland," was on the CBS drama about profilers in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit for two seasons before calling it quits.

"The biggest public mistake I ever made was that I chose to do 'Criminal Minds' in the first place," he told New York Magazine. "I thought it was something very different. I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality. After that, I didn’t think I would get to work in television again."

But he did. Patinkin now stars on the critically-acclaimed Showtime drama opposite Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. On the series, Patinkin plays Saul Berenson, a mentor of sorts to Danes' CIA officer Carrie Mathinson. He recently told The Hollywood Reporter he's privileged to work with the Golden Globe-winning Danes.

"I as a human being, as an artist, I am there for her. I would die for her," he said. "I tell you, she is one of our great gifts as an artist to be cherished and nurtured and cared for. She is a tremendous gift, and I am one of the privileged people to get to be with her and learn from her every day."

"Homeland" Season 2 debuts on Showtime on Sun., Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET. "Criminal Minds" Season 8 premieres Wed., Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.