Golden Globe-winner SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS still can't believe he played former US President RICHARD NIXON in Oliver Stone's biopic NIXON because he needed convincing he was right for the role.

The Welsh actor, who picked up the CECIL B DeMILLE Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards on Monday (16JAN06), admits the part was the oddest he has ever been offered.

He says, "I said, 'I can't play Nixon. I'm not an American.' (Stone) said, 'Well, I want you to do it.' He said, 'I think you understand his paranoia and his insecurity.'

"I said, 'Well, OK, but does that qualify me to play this?'"

Hopkins performance in the 1995 film earned him an Oscar nomination.