The actor's first love is taking to the stage in classic plays and he admits he was uncertain whether to say yes when he was offered the part of war veteran-turned-Congressman Nicholas Brody.
By an odd coincidence, he had recently moved in to Laurie's former house in London when the Brit headed Stateside to star in medical drama House, and Lewis decided to call him to pick his brains about the pitfalls of transferring to the U.S. market.
Lewis tells Esquire magazine, "He had become a global superstar... just like that... I just said, 'Hello, it's Damian Lewis. I'm sitting in your bedroom'. Then I said, 'So, what's it like making one of these Tv things? Because I'm just about to make a decision'. And he gave me advice. He was very sweet."
Lewis went to accept the job, but despite Laurie's words of wisdom, nothing prepared him for the horrendous workload he faced when he arrived on set.
He adds, "Hugh was the most honest but nobody was particularly honest about what it means to go and work in American Tv. You do 70-hour weeks and you don't see your family. It's sweatshop hours. There were a couple of times when I was driving down the (Interstate) 405 at 4am and the whole freeway started to swim in front of me."