Michael Fassbender has explained that his Prometheus character was based on champion diver Greg Louganis and the ''mesmerising'' way the Olympian moved.

The 35-year-old actor played the part of android David in the sci-fi flick and studied the sportsman for inspiration as he was captivated by the way he moved.

In an interview with the new issue of W magazine he said: ''At first I was thinking about the Alien films, or Blade Runner - those robots were very human. I decided to make him more robot-like but with human elements within. I looked for inspiration in David Bowie and Greg Louganis, for the physicality.

''When you read a script, certain images or names pop up, and for some reason, Greg Louganis came up. I knew I wanted to have good posture and a sort of economy of movement. It was the way Louganis walked to the edge of the diving board - I always thought it was mesmerising.''

Fassbender further explained that he taught himself how to dive, but his first attempt wasn't as successful as he had hoped.

He said: ''When I was out of work as an actor, I would give myself little challenges, and diving was one of them.

''This was when I was 23. I trained for a while and finally got the courage to go up the stairs to the high board. I was at the top, and I was standing there for ages, shivering. A kid who was 10 or 11 came over to me and said, 'The first time you jump off, you're going to get hurt a little bit, but it won't be as bad as you think.'

''I took his advice, but I didn't fully commit. I hurt my leg.''