British star Ricky Sekhon embarked on a strict diet and exercise regimen to lose weight for his role as Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.

The actor landed his big break when director Kathryn Bigelow hired him for the thriller, which tells the story of the decade-long hunt for the terror boss following the 9/11 atrocity in 2001.

Sekhon auditioned for Zero Dark Thirty without knowing which part he would play, and reveals he had to get into shape once he was cast as the al-Qaeda mastermind.

He says, "In the movies, image is everything and I was playing a very ill man. While on vacation in Jamaica my friend Henry, a personal trainer, had me running up hills in the morning heat and eating only eggs, lean meat and fish.

"I guess I do look a bit like bin Laden and I'm six foot, four inches, about the same as he was. But it's not as though anyone has ever stopped me in the street and shouted, 'Hey, aren't you bin Laden?' And I think I have a better smile - not as creepy."