Richard Gere has ''never'' felt like a sex symbol.

The 66-year-old actor became a fantasy for women all over the world due to roles in movies like 'Pretty Woman' and 'An Officer and A Gentleman' and although he has been flattered by the attention he never considered himself a heartthrob.

In an interview with HELLO! magazine, he said: ''At no time in my life have I ever felt like a sex symbol. It's an illusion. But the work you do and the spirit that you give to it does have an impact on people and that I can take pride in.''

Despite enjoying an incredible Hollywood career, Richard - who has 15-year-old son Homer with estranged wife Carey Lowell - insists being a movie star is the ''least interesting'' thing about him.

Gere - who is a Buddhist - said: ''Love and being connected to those you love are the most important things in life. Life itself is a joy and one of my greatest joys is being a dad and looking after my son.''

The 66-year-old actor admits he doesn't feel as old as he is, and it isn't particularly ''strange'' to see how his appearance has changed over the years.

He said: ''I feel like I'm 26 years old - except when I look in the mirror and see a man who is in his 60s with white hair and wrinkles. But it doesn't feel that strange.

''You have to accept all phases of life and appreciate that you improve with age spiritually and on so many other levels, even though your body may be wearing down. But so far I haven't fallen apart.''