The actor, 67, told PEOPLE at Homeland’s New York City premiere on Tuesday night that he and Danes were filming “some of the most intense [scenes] of the whole eight years” on their last day.
“All of a sudden [our director] said ‘That’s it. Cut and print. That’s the last scene between Saul Berenson and Carrie Mathison,’” Patinkin recalled, referencing the characters they played in the show.
“We kind of left our characters, like in slow motion for a second and caught each other’s eyes in real time,” he continued. “Then we just fell in each other’s arms and we started to shake, and weep, and we couldn’t let go of each other, forever.”
Patinkin added that he remembers that moment “like I remember seeing my first son, the very first time I ever saw him.”
RELATED VIDEO: Mandy Patinkin Reveals How He Ended Up Sobbing With Jake Gyllenhaal
Homeland follows CIA agent Carrie Mathinson (Danes) and her mentor, Saul Berenson (Patinkin). Carrie and Saul are two of few characters that appear on all eight seasons of the successful series.
Showtime president and CEO David Nevins announced that the eighth season would be the last in August 2018 at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour.
“Homeland has been a game-changing series for Showtime, as provocative about the world we live in as it is prescient,” Nevins said at the time. “This project … is a richly written character study that is now ready for its natural conclusion.”
Patinkin has formed an emotional connection with his character and said he is happy with how his journey ends, adding that Saul has made him “a better human being.”
“He’s taught me to be kinder. He’s taught me to be a better listener. He’s taught me to be more even-keeled. He is loved by my children and my wife because he’s made their father and her husband a better person to live with off camera.”
As to whether he will miss playing Saul, Patinkin joked that he will never not have the character with him “because we look alike.”
Homeland season 8 will premiere on Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.