Luke Evans thinks it is a ''compliment'' to be ''objectified'' as a sex symbol.

The 'Beauty and the Beast' actor is astonished by some of the comments he receives from fans online, and though he acknowledges he's sometimes been asked to flash the flesh where it wasn't entirely necessary for a scene, he understands that ''sex sells'' and his ''public persona'' needs to be appealing.

He said: ''On social media, people are very brave and say things that if they were in a room with you, they probably wouldn't.

''In terms of being 'objectified', there are certain jobs where I've been like, 'There's no need to do this scene topless.' But sex sells. I don't take it too seriously.

''In our business, you have a public persona - fans are going to look at us in roles and maybe objectify us.

''There's not much you can do about it apart from maybe write an article and have it printed in The Guardian. It's a compliment and I take it as such.''

The 37-year-old hunk likes ''dressing up'' for high profile events but isn't obsessive about having the perfect body underneath his clothes.

He told Glamour magazine: ''I do take more pride in my appearance when I'm going to an event. I like dressing up.

''When it comes to working out, I like to be in a semi-fit state, but not every job I do necessarily means I'm going to take my top off.''

Meanwhile, Luke - who plays Gaston in 'Beauty and the Beast' - impressed his castmates with his musical abilities on the film.

Dan Stevens, who is Beast/Prince Adam, said: ''I watched Luke rehearsing the big Gaston number - and I'm not just saying that because he's here - it's one of my favourite scenes in the film.''