Damian Lewis has revealed he nearly turned down Homeland, the series which has now become Barack Obama's favourite.
The actor plays a US Marine Sergeant in the hit series, which also stars Clare Danes and David Harewood.
But he claimed it could all have turned out differently, saying: "I very nearly said no to Homeland.
"My experience on Life, which I loved, was at quite a lot of personal cost, from a family point of view. That sounds a bit melodramatic - we're all still together - but it was long hours working, with Helen sitting in the house with the kids.
"I wasn't prepared for quite the workshop hours you work on some American TV shows, so I said to my agent I would do this only if it's extraordinary and is on cable TV."
The series, which has been renewed for a second season, already has famous fans, with the US President and his cohorts reported to have called in four DVD box sets.
"It's exciting when you've entered the cultural zeitgeist in such a way," said Damian.
"The Clintons are now watching it, and it's gone right through to the top levels of the American administration. They're all asking for box sets so they can see what their bosses are watching."
:: Homeland begins on Channel 4 on Sunday February 19.