Steven Seagal insists he is a ''real'' action hero.

The burly actor - who forged his reputation in popular movies like 'Above the Law' and 'Under Siege' - explained that he does many of the action scenes that his peers only pretend to do.

Speaking to ShortList magazine, he said: ''I'm somebody who has been doing action a long time and who is a real action person in the sense that I've really done - and do - many of the things that other people pretend to do in their movies.''

Seagal has, in fact, acted as a reserve deputy sheriff for 20 years on the border of Arizona in the Southwestern United States, a role that has seen him ''put on a bulletproof vest and a machine gun and chase the bad guys''.

He added: ''I'm chasing high-risk people, dealing with murder, rape, armed robbery. That's what I do. So I look at myself as a real guy.''

Seagal went on to claim that the action heroes of today are not expected to perform their own stunts and can instead rely on special effects.