Monday, March 12, 2012

President Obama Invites Damian Lewis, Star of Terrorist Thriller "Homeland," To State Dinner

Lewis and PM Cameron share an alma mater...
UPDATE: Lewis dishes on his evening
After overseeing the death of Osama bin Laden last year, President Obama revealed that one of the TV shows he loves is Showtime network's Homeland, a drama/thriller about a Marine sergeant who becomes a terrorist after 8 years in captivity in Iraq. British actor Damian Lewis stars as the turncoat Marine, and he has announced that he's been invited to Wednesday's State Dinner in honor of British Prime Minister David Cameron. Lewis said he'll be bringing his wife, actor Helen McCrory, to the White House. (Above: Lewis in a Homeland publicity shot)

Lewis, 41, revealed his Presidential invitation on Friday during a TV appearance with BBC chat show host Graham Norton. He said he landed a coveted spot on the guest list because President Obama is a huge Homeland fan.

"It turns out it is his favorite show," Lewis said. "But the big news is that he has invited me to the White House for dinner. I am going with Helen my wife to dinner next Wednesday. I am going to fly to Washington, have dinner and fly back."

Homeland cleaned up at the Golden Globes awards in January. Lewis plays Sergeant Nick Brody, who is running for Congress after returning to the US and being hailed as a war hero. His co-star is American actor Claire Danes, who plays Carrie Mathison, a bipolar CIA agent who is on a mission to expose Brody as a terrorist. Danes will likely be at the State Dinner, too. The show won Best TV Drama at the Globes, and Danes won Best Actress. The White House will reveal the full State Dinner guest list on Wednesday afternoon. (Above: The co-stars at the Golden Globes telecast)

Of the State Dinner, Lewis added: "There will probably be a 1000 of his [Obama's] closest friends but I don't care. I am going."

The guest list will more likely run between 150-200 people. Lewis' first breakout roll on screen was in filmmaker Steven Spielberg's acclaimed World War II drama series Band of Brothers, and the director, a longtime Obama supporter, could be on the State Dinner guest list, too.

Lewis describes his invitation in this clip:

President Obama last year told People magazine that his TV tastes are "a little darker" than those of his wife and children, and named Homeland and Boardwalk Empire as his must-sees, in addition to sports programming. Damian Lewis attended Eton, Mr. Cameron's alma mater, reports The Independent, where he was five years behind the Prime Minister.

Mr. Cameron arrives in Washington on Tuesday, and the President will be taking him to watch an NCAA mens' college basketball tournament in Dayton, Ohio, ahead of Wednesday's formal events. They'll watch Mississippi Valley State vs. Western Kentucky in the first-round of competition. First Lady Michelle Obama will host Mrs. Samantha Cameron for a special Let's Move! mini-Olympics event at American University in Washington, DC, on Tuesday afternoon.

The President and Mrs. Obama's most recent formal dinner was the "A Nation's Gratitude Dinner" in February, in honor of veterans of the Iraq war.

*Top photo courtesy of Showtime