CNN — With President Obama being a professed fan of Showtime's Emmy-winning hit "Homeland," series star Damian Lewis thought he'd sign a box set of the show with a clever joke.
But what the 41-year-old English actor came up with has left him hoping the POTUS also has an ironic sense of humor, as he recently told Brit TV host Jonathan Ross.
"Amazingly, really because of the success of the show, I was invited to the White House for dinner. I expected to be sat next to the toilets, and I ended up being at his table sitting opposite [President Obama]," said Lewis, who portrays a duplicitous POW who reveals over the course of the series that he's converted to Islam.
The president loves the show so much he wanted a signed box set, and Lewis and his co-star, Claire Danes, were happy to oblige.
"Claire Danes had written something really lovely and sweet, saying 'I was a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours,' and I thought, that's really stylish; I'll think of something really great," Lewis recalled. "And I went, 'From one Muslim to another,' in an indelible Sharpie. I couldn't take it back. I was writing emails for the whole of the next week going, 'I do hope he understands irony.'"
Having learned his lesson about the permanency of a Sharpie pen, Lewis kept it to a short and sweet "congratulations" when the president was re-elected earlier this month.
"Never repeat a joke," the actor told Ross, "especially when it's not funny the first time."