British actor SIR Michael Gambon lied to his director and co-star KEVIN COSTNER in order to give his character in the Hollywood hit Open Range an Irish accent.

The 53-year-old actor, who plays DENTON BAXTER in the new Western film, found it easier to do a Gaelic accent and made up his own version of American history.

Gambon says, "When Kevin asked what sort of American accent I was going to use, I told him I was going to do it in Irish since I'd done a lot of research and discovered that Irish immigrants came out West in the 1870's."

Gambon - the new DUMBLEDORE in Harry Potter films - went on, "Of course, I was lying."

Michael has famously been a little economical with the truth, once telling an interviewer he started as a dancer in the ROYAL BALLET and another that he used to be gay, but had to give it up because it made his eyes water.

26/03/2004 14:15