Michael Douglas hopes his acting has improved "like an old car" over 20 years.

The US actor - who returned to the iconic character of Gordon Gecko for sequel 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' this year - admits he found the prospect of doing a second movie "nerve wracking" because the character had lost many of his trademark characteristics.

He said: "When director Oliver Stone, offered me the part in the first film I don't think I was necessarily the first choice. Maybe the third. It was a crucial time in my acting career, 23 years ago, and played a very important part. Also the part was very colourful. The decision to strip Gecko of all his accoutrements and the armour, all the stuff that made him so colourful, was little nerve-wracking.

"I think we were all a little insecure whether that was actually going to fly or not, whether we could take away everything from him. Hopefully I've improved in 20 years - just like an old car."

Despite worrying about his performance, Michael - who is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer - has been praised by his 'Wall Street' co-star Shia LaBeouf, who believes he is an "American institution" after working with him.

He said: "He has a face they're going to paint on walls. They're going to remember him forever. You can't say that about a lot of people. He's an American institution. It's intimidating and incredible and exhilarating and rewarding."