Jamie Bell believes the director of his latest movie was "lucky to have him".

The 'Billy Elliot' star - who plays a slave in 'The Eagle' opposite Channing Tatum as a Roman soldier - thinks the film's director Kevin McDonald was lucky to get the pair together for the film as they are both very "physical" actors.

He told BANG Showbiz: "I think these guys got very lucky having me and Channing do the parts. Obviously, we both have physical backgrounds."

However, he admits he had never ridden a horse before he took on the role, something he was very upfront about because he didn't want to get caught out.

He added: "I've never been on a horse before, I was very honest about that. A lot of actors lied about that and in the meeting they say, 'Can you ride a horse?' And they're like, 'Oh yeah, totally fine.' I had to learn that from scratch, and I think the physical and arduous nature of it was part of the struggle of the characters and the story."