Monday, December 29, 2014

'Homeland' star has a fan in the Oval Office

When you're on on a hit TV show, you get to go places.

'Homeland' star has a fan in the Oval Office

In "Homeland," Claire Danes plays a CIA agent suspicious of Iraq hero Damian Lewis (left). Mandy Patinkin also stars.
In "Homeland," Claire Danes plays a CIA agent suspicious of Iraq hero Damian Lewis (left). Mandy Patinkin also stars. Showtime

When you're on on a hit TV show, you get to go places.

In the case of Damian Lewis, who stars in Showtime's “Homeland,” those places include the White House, where Lewis attended a state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron in March.

“Obviously, I'm called in to consult on matters of homeland security. So then I drop everything and I go,” joked the actor Monday during the Television Critics Association's summer meetings in Beverly Hills.

“You know, it was as much a shock to me as it was, presumably, to everyone else in this room that I was on that invitation list. I think it was just a serendipity. It was a British state visit to see the president, who happened to have this as his favorite show on TV at the time, and I’m a Brit playing an American part, and I kind of ticked a lot of boxes,” said Lewis, who plays a Marine freed by al-Qaeda after eight years who returns as a war hero, but with some serious baggage.

“But I did ask him and David Cameron, I said, 'When do you guys get to watch TV? Aren’t you supposed to be running the free world together? And because I hear, Mr. President, you really like the show.' And he said, 'Yes, Saturday afternoons, Michelle and the two girls, they go play tennis. I go into the Oval Office. I pretend I’m going to work, and I switch on ‘Homeland.’”

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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