Dwayne Johnson has revealed how playing Hercules was a childhood dream come true.
The former pro wrestler, known as The Rock, got his chance to portray the demigod in Brett Ratner's film.
"I grew up admiring Hercules and it was the first project I talked about doing when I first broke into Hollywood. So this is a movie and a role that has been many, many years in the making for me," he said.
He added jokingly: "Plus, I've always wanted to get into a loin cloth."
Once Dwayne signed on, he hit the ground running with an eight-month training programme so he could beef up and sculpt his physique and amplify his fighting skills.
"In my mind, you only get one shot at the iconic Hercules, so I really wanted to make sure that the version I had in my head was the version that the audiences would see on screen," he said.
"And that was an experienced beast of a man, which I knew would require really hardcore strength and conditioning training and really hardcore dieting."
He continued: "Creating and maintaining that kind of physique requires acute attention to detail. Sometimes you have to back off on cardio or add cardio or train three times a day or bump calories to 8,000 a day or back off calories. It's a big challenge, but it should be a challenge to play Hercules!"
John Hurt, Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes also star in Hercules, which opens in UK cinemas on July 25.