Damian Lewis signed autograph for Pres. Obama: ‘From one Muslim to another’

It’s kind of funny to me that Pres. Obama is such an unabashed fan-boy of Homeland. He brings it up all the time, and he always name-checks the (brilliant!) show as his favorite. I don’t think he’s ever named another show as his favorite – maybe an ESPN show or something, but he really does get all fan-boy-ish about Homeland in particular. He’s such a fan that he invited Damian Lewis, the English star of the show, to the White House for a state dinner, and Obama even had Damian and his wife placed at the president’s table during dinner. Unfortunately, the one time I saw Damian discuss the honor of a state dinner invitation, Damian seemed like he was kind of bragging about being rude to the president (it might have been awkwardly worded though – Damian might have been aiming for self-deprecating and it just failed).

Anyway, Damian was on The Jonathan Ross Show over the weekend, and he told another Obama story. This one is hilarious, though. The headline at Entertainment Weekly was “’Homeland’ star made Muslim joke to Obama” and I thought “Oh, God. This is going to be AWFUL.” But I ended up LOLing. Here’s the video and the context:

Homeland star Damian Lewis told a British talk show he sent a Muslim joke to president Barack Obama. During an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show Saturday night, the Emmy-winning actor says the president wanted a signed DVD box set of the Showtime hit to give to the Teamsters labor union (the president has previously revealed Homeland is his favorite show).

Lewis says co-star Claire Danes wrote something along the lines of, ”I was a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours.” But when it was the British-born Lewis’ turn, the actor says he jokingly wrote: “From one Muslim to another.”

“I thought I’d think of something great and funny … and wrote: ‘From one Muslim to another’ in an indelible Sharpie,” the actor recalls. “And I couldn’t take it back … I was then writing emails for the whole of the next week going: ‘I do hope he understands irony.”’

Lewis’ character on Homeland is an America POW who was tortured while in captivity and converted to Islam. Now back in the United States, he’s wrestled with a terrorist agenda and keeps his religion a secret. Obama, of course, has been pestered by unsubstantiated conspiratorial theories suggesting he’s a Muslim.

Lewis adds that he asked the president during a dinner how he finds time to watch the show.

“Aren’t you busy running the free world?” the actor recalls asking. Lewis, while impersonating the president’s speech cadence, says Obama replied: “On Saturday afternoons. Michelle, she takes the two girls, they go play tennis. I go into the Oval Office. I pretend I’m gonna work and I switch on Homeland.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

I think that joke is the kind of thing that a Homeland-watcher would laugh at, and therefore it’s something that would make Obama laugh. But I’m sure that kind of thing will just become further fodder for the birthers and wingnuts.


We’ve had some requests to discuss Homeland, but I sometimes have doubts about how many people are actually watching it as the episodes air these days. I do think this season has been… interesting. It wasn’t what I was expecting, and I’ve been impressed with some of what the writers have come up with. Like, I loved how Carrie was initially brought back into the agency and all of the Lebanon storyline. I loved Saul finding Brody’s suicide video. I loved everything about those two episodes where Carrie is trying to knock Brody off-kilter (once she knew she was right) and then the interrogation. And I about had a heart attack when poor Rupert Friend and his team were taken down by terrorists in SWAT gear. But this past Sunday’s episode was kind of dull, right? I only liked two parts – Carrie and Brody in the woods, and Rupert Friend’s cute farmer’s tanned butt. How excellent is this role for Rupert Friend? I was not expecting to like him as much as I do. He’s a lot like Carrie, I think. And he could be a great ally for her and for Saul, they just need to let him in. Oh, and I did enjoy Carrie’s “Cease and f–king desist.”

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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76 Responses to “Damian Lewis signed autograph for Pres. Obama: ‘From one Muslim to another’”

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  1. Marilu says:

    Only hollywood actors can get away with this sort of thing. On a side note, claire looks adorable pregnant.

  2. Eve says:

    “I think that joke is the kind of thing that a Homeland-watcher would laugh at, and therefore it’s something that would make Obama laugh. But I’m sure that kind of thing will just become further fodder for the birthers and wingnuts”.

    That’s EXACTLY what I thought. They already think Obama’s a Muslim (therefore a potential terrorist because that’s their usual way of thinking: Muslim = terrorist”) simply because his middle name is “Hussein”. This will probaby be considered “proof” of their crazy theories.

  3. Omar's Comin' says:

    President Obama has said several times that The Wire was his favorite show/one of his favorite shows. He talked about this even before 2008. I love The Wire SO MUCH- still miss it. Homeland is an awesome show, too!

  4. Riana says:

    Oh thank GOODNESS.

    I don’t watch Homeland but due to the election there’s been so much aggression towards the president, I was afraid a good actor got a little stupid and did something rude.

    There’s been something like 22 requests for secession from a number of states totaling over 10, 000. So…yeah, those people need NO encouragement.

  5. BLOGAHOLIC says:

    It was clearly a joke…

  6. Ms. Candy says:

    I agree that was funny and President seems to have a sense of humour. I could see those left-wing extremist taking this overboard…

  7. Bored suburbanhousewife says:

    Thank you thank you Kaiser you rock to post on Homeland.

    Rupert is amazing on Homeland, so utterly different from his sweet pretty boy roles in British films. How great was it whe he stabbed Damien Lewis in the hand with his switchblade??!.

    His butt should have its own FB page.

    In terms of expanding his range, Rpatz could learn a few things from Rupert.

    • Chatcat says:

      IMO Homeland is the best written and best acted show on TV today. As each character is played out I think…”nobody else could play this as well” which speaks volumes about the casting folks as well. I mean an episode of Homeland over anything the “major” network have to offer…I only watch 3 current network TV shows…Big Bang Theory, Revenge and Person of Interest…that’s pretty pathetic if you think about it.

      I actually thought it was a funny joke by Damian. I mean Obama himself poked fun at his “name” at the Catholic Charities fundraiser a few weeks back when he said he wished he “could use his middle name” referring to Mitt (Romney’s middle name) using his.

      • Macey says:

        Not pathetic at all. I only watch 4 shows on reg TV. The 3 you mentioned plus 666 Park Place. I wasnt that into that one at first but now its getting really good. Revenge is my guilty pleasure. the acting is so cheesy and soap opera style but I just love it.

    • momoftwo says:

      I think Rupert is great too! And I didn’t realize that David Estes is British too!

      But if Brody ever gets killed off I’ll have to stop watching…I have a big crush on Damian Lewis!

  8. LadyL says:

    Poor taste and a sign of how debased the presidency has become.

    • mln76 says:

      Actually it debases the idiots like Trump who spread that crap and the ignorant dupes that believe it.

      • LadyL says:

        How? I guess you don’t get that the office should be held in high esteem. If you think Donald Trump cares you’re wrong. He doesn’t need votes.

        I’m now waiting for the cast of Gigilo to have former President Clinton on set for a cameo.

      • mln76 says:

        LadyL correct me if I am wrong but you seem to believe its somehow the president’s fault that a bunch of bigots believe he is muslim. That somehow if he was more presidental they would suddenly take off their tin foil caps and admit that he wasnt born in Kenya ? The only way to deal with those people is humor.
        As for Trump in the last few years his brand has degraded his name is about to be taken off the Trump Towers in NYC,there is talk that he may lose his Macys endorsement deal and his ratings have tanked.

  9. Toot says:

    I just don’t understand what the big deal is if Pres. Obama WAS Muslim. I know Muslim terrorsist caused 9/11, but being Muslim doesn’t stop you from possibly becoming president.

    Not all Muslims are evil.

  10. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Damien Lewis is such a witty guy. I think it’s awesome that he poked fun at the disgusting and embarrassing level of xenophobia that some members of the Right consistently embrace and unapologetically display, not only to Obama, but to ACTUAL Muslims.

  11. bella says:

    GAWD. DL is such a compelling actor – a point driven home further after listening to him speak with his native British accent. He pulls off the American accent like a true pro while delivering an incomparable performance…Gushing for Homeland…I’m a HUGE fan.
    I will say, though, that it never sits well with me the whole Hollywood-White House mix…I’m old fashioned, yes…I don’t think the POTUS should fraternize with stars…not publicly, anyway. He’s entitled to a personal life, but it should be private…just my 2 cents.

  12. Lulu says:

    “Birthers”. Goodness, what an insulting term. :D

  13. momoftwo says:

    Love Homeland and Love Damian Lewis. I did not expect to be hot for him but I am! I love him as Brody (what an amazing actor he is to pull off the emotional depth of Brody so convincingly) and as himself, I love his wit and accent. Dang…gonna stop gushing now!

  14. Umm..no says:

    As an Obama supporter, I totally got the joke but I do wonder how the wingnuts will try to use it, no matter how much irony was intended by this brilliant actor, Damian Lewis.

    I LOVE this show, it’s fantastic, the cast is of exceptional talent, one and all and it makes me smile a little to know that the President enjoys it as well!

    • Jayna says:

      I agree. The far right Birthers are crazy. Facts don’t matter to them. The least he could have done is not tell it in public, leave it to private. In reality, because of what he wrote as a joke, the box was thrown away for sure. So no autographed box.

  15. Liza Jane says:

    It’s kinda weird that I am British too and love Damien Lewis as an actor..he’s excellent..but don’t like him much as a person! Saw him on The Graham Norton show and thought he was an ass! I also think,given the negativity surrounding Obama and the hysteria from the fringe loonies, that it was in very bad taste to write that! As to the fact that it ‘was in indelible ink so ‘I couldn’t erase it!’! You’re a high paid actor,star of this show..pony up for another set of the videos,and gift that,you idiot!!

  16. JPC says:

    Good God. I could sop up Damien Lewis with a biscuit. He is just delish. Meow!

  17. carrie says:

    oooh dark humor ! i like that

  18. Holden says:

    I’ve been told three times in the last couple of weeks that I look like Damian Lewis, I’m not sure if thats a good thing or not…

  19. Val says:

    “4 more years, thank Allah!”

    Amazing, I had no idea Damian Lewis was such a funny person, and he’s really completely different to his character (showcasing good acting). Love this post! And I’m sure Obama does understand irony…

  20. Snookie Wookie says:

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED Homeland the first season but I’m with you Kaiser, it’s “ok” this season, but not great. For one, I HATE Claire Danes’ character when she gets all schmoopy eyed with Brody. I think it weakens her character completely and makes her look pathetic and then I get bored of that storyline. I like it when she’s a bad ass. But I guess the writers want us to guess is she for real or is she playing him, and is he playing her? I get the sense that she is for real and he is playing her and it makes me want to shake him. But oh MY is Rupert DELICIOUS!

  21. Mira says:

    I’m thrilled that Rupert Friend has been cast. I hope he’s in the regular and not recurring cast. Will he hook up with Carrie? Nooo…..I want to hook up with him!! I want to see more of Quinn and less of the Dana-Finn hit-and-run story.

  22. The Origina Victoria says:

    I am obssessed with homeland and Damien. I don’t know why I find tha tman attractive in seven ways but I do.

    Cease and fucking desisr was the highlight of the night. And I am all for Nic ditching that crust pie Jessica and hooking up with Claire. The chemistry kills me!

  23. ViktoryGin says:

    I understand that there are some who are less thrilled about the second season, but you have to take into account the narrative arc of the story.

    The first season relied heavily on the element of irresolution as a tool to drive the story forward. Is Brody a terrorist? Is he not? Then there was precarious relationship with Carrie.

    Much of that has been resolved this season, and the writers have to discover another direction to travel without resorting to melodrama and cheap tactics. Not easy to do, especially now that the show has received so much critical acclaim and public support.

    Hang in there.

    Yeah…I rewound the DVR a couple of times to Carrie put Mike in his place with the “cease and fucking desist” order.

  24. Rachael says:

    “4 more years, thank Allah.” HAHAH hilarious.

  25. hairball says:

    I’m probably the only one who didn’t know this, but I had no idea he was British!