"He was extremely charming and funny," Damian Lewis says of President Obama

By Tierney McAfee
Updated January 11, 2016 05:05 PM
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Credit: Cigar Aficionado

It’s been three years since Damian LewisHomeland character, Sgt. Nicholas Brody, met his untimely end on the show’s third season – but he still hasn’t forgotten his biggest fan, President Barack Obama.

In a new interview with Cigar Aficionado, Lewis recalls when, at a White House state dinner in 2012, the president told him Homeland was his favorite show.

“He was extremely charming and funny, talking about how much he enjoyed the series,” Lewis says in his cover story for the magazine’s February issue, on newsstands Tuesday.

“I finally asked him, ‘When do you have time to watch TV?’ And he said, ‘Well, on Saturdays, when Michelle takes the girls to play tennis. I go into the Oval Office and watch some TV.’ That was such a great image to me: of POTUS, his feet up on the desk, kicking back to watch Homeland.”

Bill Clinton is also a big fan. Lewis, 44, who now stars as Wall Street playboy Bobby “Axe” Axelrod in the upcoming Showtime series Billions, described an encounter with Clinton in which the former president spent 20 minutes offering a private assessment of how important he thought Homeland was in its portrayal of Islam.

“It was fascinating,” says Lewis. “I can’t tell you how often I get stopped by people who appreciate my depiction of an observant Muslim.”