Confusion at White House as Homeland star Damian Lewis’ joke sparks alarm
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland
Luckily President Barack Obama saw the funny side at a star-studded reception to which Lewis, who played Marine-turned-Congressman Nicholas Brody in the Channel 4 spy thriller and his actress wife Helen McCrory, were invited.
The 43-year-old actor tells Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: “I don’t know what possessed me but I said to him, ‘Sir, Mr President, we’re very keen to keep Homeland as current as possible so if there’s any chance of going into Iran, will you let us know?’
“At which point I saw three security guys either side of me perk up.
“[Impersonates American accent] ‘Someone said I-ran in the White House. Someone said I-ran.’
“And sure enough I had this enormous hand sort of cuffed me to one side on my right cheek… of my derriere, I hasten to add, and I was sort of shunted along to David Cameron who was next in line.
The President had a great sense of humour
“The President had a great sense of humour.
“He looked me square in the eye and he said, ‘I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it happens’.
“It was remarkable.”
Mr Obama has made no secret he is a huge fan of the drama, which also stars Claire Danes as CIA agent Carrie Mathison, saying it was his “favourite show” in a radio interview in 2012.
Eton-educated Lewis told presenter Kirsty Young that boarding school “definitely informs who you become later”, describing it as “a massively competitive environment”.
An Elvis fan who styled his hair with shaving foam as a child, Lewis chose the King’s Bossa Nova Baby for his desert island.
The Madness song Baggy Trousers also featured because his children love it and Crystal Clear by The Grid was included to remind him of his days as a “raver”.
JM Roberts’s History of the World was his book and his whittling kit was his luxury item.
- Desert Island Discs is on Radio 4 today at 11.15am.