British actor Damian Lewis sparked a security scare at the White House by making a joke about Iran in front of President Barack Obama.
The Homeland star was discussing the hit TV show with the leader during a reception at the president's official residence in Washington, D.C. and he was accosted by security guards after he made an ill-advised joke about the Middle Eastern state.
During an appearance on U.K. radio show Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4, Lewis explains, "I don't know what possessed me but I said to him, 'Sir, Mr President, we're very keen to keep Homeland as current as possible so if there's any chance of going into Iran, will you let us know?' At which point I saw three security guys either side of me perk up.'Someone said I-ran in the White House. Someone said I-ran.' And sure enough I had this enormous hand sort of cuffed me to one side on my right cheek... of my derriere, I hasten to add, and I was sort of shunted along to (U.K. Prime Minister) David Cameron who was next in line..."
However, Obama was able to brush off the mishap. Lewis adds, "The president had a great sense of humor. He looked me square in the eye and he said, 'I'll be sure to let you know as soon as it happens'. It was remarkable."