SIR Anthony Hopkins tried to keep a straight face while he was shooting death-defying motorbike scenes in new movie THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN - because he found the idea of being dragged around a salt flat hilarious.

Hopkins risked life and limb as he was being dragged around the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for a motorbike crash scene in the Burt Munro biopic, but, far from being terrified, the Welsh-born Oscar winner found the whole experience funny.

He recalls, "That was all me. I was being dragged about 60/70 miles-an-hour on the (bike) frame and all I was told to do was keep your head off the salt because it will rip your face off.

"As I was being dragged around I started to laugh. I thought, 'This is no way to make a living at the age of 60.'

"Roger Donaldson, the director, said to me, 'What are you laughing at?' and I said, 'This is the most peculiar thing I've ever done. If my wife could only see me, she wouldn't let me get on the bike.'"

But Hopkins insists he's usually the last person to sign up to do his own stunts: "I don't think it's necessary to take unnecessary risks because if you do those big stunts and you break a leg or an ankle the film is over.

"I admire those guys, those stunt guys; they're brave, brave men."