| -1°C Dublin

How actor Damian shaped up for Homeland hit role in Dublin

HOMELAND star Damian Lewis has Irish fitness expert Pat Henry to thank for the toned physique he sports in hit US TV series, the Herald can reveal.

Damian, along with actor pal Joseph Fiennes, sought out Pat last year when Fiennes was shooting Camelot at Ardmore Studios in Bray.

"They both came to me last year and they both trained really hard. Both said they were the best workouts they've had anywhere," said Pat.

"Both of them were in bits after I finished -- but after a couple of weeks they were flying and in the best shape of their lives.

"They trained with myself and [Pat's son] Karl. Damian kept coming all the time as he was getting ready for the pilot show of Homeland. Even though he wasn't sure how well the show would be received, he and his family had decided to move to LA.

"He worked extremely hard. When I see him on TV now, it's obvious that he has kept it up and he looks in amazing shape."

Damian worked out with Pat for five weeks before heading off to the US.

Homeland, which also stars Claire Danes, has been a massive ratings success and has already won a clutch of awards.

Damian plays a US marine released after eight years as a POW in Iraq but a possibly unbalanced FBI agent (Danes) thinks he may have been 'turned' during captivity and begins a one-woman surveillance mission.

Such has been the reception for Homeland, that Damian was invited to the White House last week for a State dinner US President Barack Obama was hosting for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

There, he mixed with the cast of Downton Abbey, Irish golfer Rory McIlroy and Hollywood star George Clooney.

Pat is trainer to the stars in Ireland -- Ardmore Studios contacted him to help train the stars of Camelot, including Joseph Fiennes, Philip Winchester and Jamie Campbell Bower.

Once the stars get to Pat's gym on Pembroke Street, in Dublin's south inner city, they mingle freely with other clients.

Meanwhile Pat has admitted he has yet to get into Homeland.

"I've seen one episode so far. I can't stand the ad breaks to be honest so I think I'm going to wait until the box set comes out," he said.