Brad Pitt said he hoped his children would realise his portrayal of a stern father in his latest film was down to him being "a pretty damn-good actor" and not because it was close to reality.
The star, who is at the Cannes Film Festival to publicise The Tree Of Life which is in the running for the coveted Palme d'Or, plays an authoritarian parent bringing up a family in 1950s Texas in the film.
Brad, who has six children with his partner Angelina Jolie, admitted he had been "hesitant" about taking on the role.
He said: "I think about everything I do now my kids are going to see when they grow up and how are they going to feel, but they know me as a dad and I hope they'll just think of me as a pretty, damn-good actor."
Asked how close his role was to the truth, he joked: "I beat my kids regularly and it seems to do the trick and I deprive them of meals."
Brad said he took on the role, at least in part, to make sure the film got made. He said: "Real strong scripts go by the wayside and don't get made and we wanted to make sure this one did and so I jumped in."
Brad was joined by actress Jessica Chastain who plays his wife in the film. Conspicuous by their absence were Sean Penn, who plays the couple's son as an adult, and the film's director Terrence Malick.
Sean, who producer Bill Pohlad explained was in Haiti, is expected at the festival later this week where another of his films, This Must Be The Place, is also in competition.
Brad defended Malick's absence saying an "an artist should not have to be a salesman".