Damian Lewis thinks Jay Z name-checking him on a new song is the ''coolest thing''.

The 43-year-old rapper can be heard giving a nod to the Emmy Award-winning actor's 'Homeland' character Sergeant Nicholas Brody on 'F.U.T.W.' - taken from his new album 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' - and Damian is honoured, albeit slightly surprised, by the musical tribute.

He gushed:''It's one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me.''

On the song, Jay raps: ''Feel like a stranger in my own land / Got me feeling like Brody in Homeland.''

Privately-educated Damian - whose ancestors include former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Ian Bowater - admits it's bizarre to receive a shout-out on a rap song as the musical genre is a far cry from his own background with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Speaking to the new British issue of Esquire magazine, he said: ''My natural habitat is quite a long way from, you know, a gangster rapper. So the fact I've somehow straddled popular culture to find myself name checked ... From the RSC to the Jay Z.''

While he may be a celebrated actor to TV fans, the 42-year-old star - who is married to actress Helen McCrory - is less lauded at home, revealing that his two children Manon, six, and Gulliver, five, often tease him about his unusually small mouth.

He said: ''I actually have a really small mouth. My kids tease me about it. They say, 'Dad, go on, open your mouth as wide as you can. No, go on. Open it further... ' It makes me feel like a lizard.''