The Australian starred as 19th explorer AIDAN McRORY who inadvertently reunites two tiger brothers who were separated as cubs - when he forces them to fight to the death.
Film-maker Jean-Jacques Annaud opted to use real animals in live action - and Pearce admits he found a genuine connection with his newest co-stars.
He says, "I'm a cat person. I grew up with them and I'm in tune with them; I'm also a loner and I can be really aloof.
"And a big cat is just an extension of a little one. I know you can never take a tiger for granted, but she was so relaxed, she'd been fed for the day, and there was no desire in her eyes to be bothered by anything. It was no big deal.
"Although, I did have to sign a lot of 'I understand this may be the last thing I ever do' forms."12/07/2004 17:18