THE LOOK: MR DAMIAN LEWIS
“I thought we were going to be sitting by the kitchen or something,” he says. “Next to the revolving door that would repeatedly hit us on the back of the head, as waiters came in and out,” he continues, slapping the back of his head to demonstrate. “But when we got to the marquee on the South Lawn we found that out of 396 people at this dinner, we had been put at the President’s table. I was opposite Obama. He said Homeland is his favourite show.”
Mr Lewis plays the troubled marine Sergeant Brody, who returns home from Iraq a national hero after years of torture as a prisoner of war. But was he indoctrinated there; is he a terrorist now? An equally troubled CIA agent (Ms Claire Danes) wants to find out. It’s the kind of intricate, high-stakes drama that raises the bar on what’s possible on television – the first show to capture America’s conflicted feelings about the war on terror.
“I knew we were doing something a bit better than your average TV show, or movie for that matter,” he says. “But there was no telling the way in which it touched a chord. People get a strange thrill out of being made to feel anxious and worried!”
We meet in Los Angeles, under a bridge downtown, like in the Chili Peppers song. Only in this case, we’re on a cosy tour bus eating chips and salsa, with a couple of Newcastle Brown Ales on the go.
“Well, you’ve got to don’t you,” he says, looking at his wrist. “It’s beer o’clock!”
“People get a strange thrill out of being made to feel anxious and worried!”
And to be fair, the drink is well earned. Mr Lewis has spent the day getting his picture taken in various outfits all over town, and it’s the first day of the May Day protests in the city so traffic has been murder. But he’s in good spirits. Life is sweet these days, as he tells me more than once. And besides, he likes a spot of fashion.
“I like that 1960s Mad Men thing that’s going on,” he says. “Equally I can get a bit Burt Reynolds if I wear the right shirt – a few too many buttons undone. It’s not a good look but I just can’t avoid it happening!”
Read the rest of the article here