The Lord of the Rings star, who is openly gay, admits he was flattered by Kate's proposal, but knew she was not serious.

"She is the second actress to propose marriage to me," he tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "She knew I was gay, so she knew she was safe."

The pair worked together on a 1995 TV movie adaptation of Stella Gibbons' novel Cold Comfort Farm.

Kate is currently facing rumours her marriage to director husband Len Wiseman is over. The pair met on the set of fantasy thriller Underworld in 2003, and tied the knot the following year (04), but recent reports suggested they have parted ways.

The stars have yet to comment on the split story, but the actress fuelled gossip about the state of her marriage by appearing at a theatre awards show in London on Sunday (22Nov15) without her wedding ring. She was also pictured leaving the event hand-in-hand with a mystery man.

Kate previously dated Welsh actor Michael Sheen, the father of her daughter Lily.