Paul Bettany was desperate to use a machine gun in new film role.

The actor - who plays an angel trying to save the world in action movie 'Legion' - said he chose the role because he wanted the chance to play a hero action character for once and act like his hero, martial arts expert Jackie Chan.

He said: "I wouldn't lie to you. I don't like real guns, but the fake firearms are fantastic. My machine gun was huge and made a lot noise, but it didn't hurt anybody. I did 'Legion' so I could shoot a big gun and channel Jackie Chan.

"I'm usually the bad guy in movies like this, so I got a kick out of being the hero."

While he enjoyed getting stuck into the role, Paul was surprised at how difficult some of the action scenes were, though he loved every minute.

He told Parade.com: "When I was a kid I took some martial arts classes, but on 'Legion' the stunt coordinators made you look like you can do the things that you can't, which is fantastic. I had an embarrassing amount of fun. It was like playing with a bunch of 10 year olds who don't mind if you hit them.

"I had a scene where I threw a child zombie in the air who was attacking me. Actually, it was a small stunt person who was an adult. Everybody shot him and we were all giggling, even the poor guy who was being thrown. You can't Take That stuff seriously."

After making 'Legion', Paul went on to play Charles Darwin in 'Creation' alongside wife Jennifer Connelly and says he most enjoyed piling on the pounds to transform his physique.

He said: "I finished 'Legion' and went right to 'Creation' to play Charles Darwin. Ironically, I was really fit from doing all the action stuff and I had to put on about 45 pounds. It was no problem though. I just ate a lot of sandwiches."