Iranian actor Navid Negahban dreads walking through security checkpoints at airports because he is frequently stopped and questioned thanks to his role as a terrorist mastermind on Emmy-winning TV drama Homeland.

The 44 year old admits his portrayal of Abu Nazir has turned him into a recognisable face - but it's not always under the best circumstances.

Negahban reveals he was taken aside and quizzed by customs officials at New York's LaGuardia Airport last year as he made his way to Toronto, Canada.

"I said, 'Well, I've been playing a most-wanted terrorist on TV' and the minute the word 'terrorist' came out of my mouth, even the other people standing in line began looking," he told CNN.


Luckily for Negahban, another customs agent recognised him from the hit program and came to his rescue.

"He looks at me and he says, 'Oh, my God! I just saw the season finale and I love the show.'

"Then he turns around and tells the other agents, 'Look, Abu Nazir is here!'"

Homeland screens on TV3 on Monday nights.