Damian Lewis — who plays Brody on the spectacular Homeland and, according to this week’s SNL sketch, barely opens his mouth while he speaks (a characteristic I had not noticed before) — sat down for a lengthy interview with British talk-show host Jonathan Ross. It’s a rare treat to see interviews with Lewis because, even though you know it, it’s still bizarre to hear a British accent coming out of him (even more bizarre when that British accent is singing a Clash song) and also because the guy best known from dramatic roles in Homeland, Life, and Band of Brothers is wicked funny. It’s a great interview, too, and in it he reveals that Tom Hanks picked up the bar tab for his 30th birthday, and that he insisted as a condition of doing Homeland that Islam wouldn’t be portrayed in a negative light.
The best part, however, comes in his anecdote about being invited to a White House dinner after President Obama revealed that Homeland is his favorite show, and how he was sat at the same table with the President and David Cameron.
After doing a crummy impression of Obama, Lewis relates a story about how he was asked to sign a season box-set of Homeland for Obama.
“Claire Danes had written something very lovely and very sweet, saying ‘I was a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours,’ and I thought ‘that’s really stylish … I want to write something really great a classy, so I went ‘From one Muslim to another,’ in an indelible Sharpie [pause for awkward laughter]. And I couldn’t take it back … I do hope he understands irony.”
The story is much better when he tells it, so you should watch (it comes at the 6:00 mark).
Later in the show, after some coaxing, Lewis also does some Gangnam style with Psy. For a guy who is reticent to do it, he’s awfully damn good at it.