British actor Jeremy Irons insists he could never be gay - because his competitive nature would get in the way.

The KINGDOM OF HEAVEN star, who has been married to wife Sinead Cusack for 27 years, accepts and understands homosexual love, but thinks his macho personality would get in the way of having a romantic relationship with another man.

The 57-year-old says, "I think I am too competitive with men, that is what gets in the way.

"I can understand love between two men, I have no trouble getting my head around that. But I have never fallen in love with another man.

"I have done a film exploring that, M BUTTERFLY, where I was exploring someone who in my subconscious I knew was a man.

"Gender is very interesting, I explored all that in my head."