Damian Lewis of Homeland Likes Playing the Bad Guy

10/28/2012 at 08:00 AM EDT

Damian Lewis, Homeland Star, Rocks a Bomber Jacket
Damian Lewis
Ben Watts/GQ

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

It's not just the fact that President Obama and the Television Academy (which hands out the Emmys) have named Showtime's Homeland their favorite show, but there is also the enormous contribution of its star Damian Lewis to consider.

Some look at Lewis and find a thinking person's sex symbol.

As for Lewis's perception of himself and his TV persona, "I know it looks like I'm thinking deep thoughts on the show," he tells November's GQ magazine about playing Nick Brody, "but I'm probably just trying to remember my next line."

Damian Lewis of Homeland Likes Playing the Bad Guy| Homeland, Barack Obama, Damian Lewis, Tom Cruise

Damian Lewis

Ben Watts / GQ

True, the London-born actor, 41, has a finely honed sense of humor – "At this point, I don't know what accent will come out when I order coffee in the morning," he says – but, as GQ also demonstrates in the accompanying photographs, he can also give the Tom Cruise of Top Gun a healthy run for his money when it comes to modeling a bomber jacket.

Still, you don't win an Emmy as best actor in a dramatic series for just looking good in the role – which, in Lewis's case is a U.S. Marine turned terrorist mole/congressman. As the actor sees his alter-ego of Brody: "He's a lot of fun to play because he behaves badly in extremis."

Telling us something, Damian?

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