Richard Gere is a ''tough guy'' on film sets.

The Hollywood A-lister - whose career has spanned four decades - says he can be an alpha male when making movies, but admits when it comes to his home life his wife Carey Lowell is usually in charge.

He said: ''I'm kind of a tough guy at work and I guess because I'm a big shot on set, everyone has to listen to me. But I live with a very strong woman! Believe me, she doesn't say 'yes' very often. I'm the one that says 'yes'. I say, 'Yes, dear.' I don't even argue.''

Although the 63-year-old actor is now a doting husband and father to 13-year-old son Homer, he reveals he enjoyed his youth in Hollywood and took advantage of all the perks fame had to offer.

He explained: ''It was all fresh, everything was new. I was 23 years old, a kid, and I was starring in the West End of London [in a stage production]. This was the early '70s - a great time where anything was possible.

''You know, young men - they try this, they try that. It's the same anywhere. It doesn't matter where you are, whether it's Los Angeles or New York or Liverpool. Of course you experiment.''

However, the 'Pretty Woman' star - who was previously married to supermodel Cindy Crawford - knew his joyful youth would one day end and he made the conscious decision to be ''healthy''.

He told Total Film magazine: ''It was good and bad times. You pay for all the experiments. And then hopefully you make a decision, 'OK, I've done that. I don't have to do that again. I'd rather be healthy.' ''