Damian Lewis worried over Obama joke

Published Monday, 12 November 2012
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Homeland star Damian Lewis risked the wrath of Barack Obama by mocking the conspiracy theories surrounding the US President's religion.

Damian Lewis worried over Obama joke

The newly re-elected leader has previously named the US thriller his favourite programme on TV, and once invited Lewis and his co-star Claire Danes to dinner at the White House.

Obama's team requested the pair sign a copy of the DVD box set especially for the President and, in a bid to be funny, Lewis referenced the persistent speculation the politician was born a Muslim - and later chased up Obama's entourage to ensure he got the joke.

He tells Jonathan Ross: "It (the show) is big, and got even bigger after the President of the United States said it was his favourite show. And then amazingly, because of the success of the show, I was invited to the White House for dinner, and was expecting to be sat next to the toilets and ended up being at his table, sitting opposite him... and he's a huge fan. I asked him when he got chance to watch it... and he said: 'On Saturday afternoons, Michelle takes the two girls and they play tennis, I go into the Oval Office, I pretend I'm going to work and I watch Homeland.'

"At the end of the evening, I had to sign a box set of Homeland, the President wanted a signed box set... Claire Danes had written something really sweet, like: 'I was a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours.' And I thought that was really stylish.

I tried to think of something classy and wrote: 'From one Muslim to another' in an indelible Sharpie. And I couldn't take it back.

"I was then writing emails for the whole of the next week saying: 'I do hope he understands irony.'"

In Homeland, Lewis portrays a US Marine-turned-terrorist who is secretly a Muslim.

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