Liev Schreiber "became giddy" when he donned a dress for a new movie role.

The 41-year-old actor was surprised at how concerned he became over his appearance after taking on the role of a tough ex-Marine transvestite in 'Taking Woodstock' but admits he didn't enjoy the experience at first.

He said: "It was exhilaratingly humiliating. But I completely became giddy in a strange way the moment I put on the dress.

"Vanity quickly set in, and I thought to myself, 'I wish my belly was flatter. Let's face it, I don't look great in a dress, but it's nice to hear I have nice legs."

Liev's discomfort was made worse by the reaction of his long-term girlfriend Naomi Watts - with who he raises two children, Alexander, two, and eight-month-old Samuel - who was stunned by his transformation.

He explained to People magazine: "She was horrified! It flipped her out. She was in shock for 30 seconds. Then she started to crack jokes."

The actor says the transformation he underwent to get into character has given him a lot more appreciation of the effort women make to look good - but he insists it was worse for him.

He added: "The shoes are awful. But for a 6ft 3in tall man, to walk around in stilettos is nearly impossible. But women have no idea what it's like for a grown hairy man to remove all of his hair from his body. Now that hurts!"