Tom Cruise says playing an anti-Hitler plotter in his latest movie "Valkyrie" fulfilled a childhood fantasy.

In real life, the American actor says he harbours feelings similar to his German character, who led a failed plot to assassinate the Nazi leader. Cruise told reporters in the South Korean capital Sunday that he "always wanted to kill Hitler."

He says that as a child he "used to wonder why someone didn't stand up and kill him."

Cruise adds that he has come to greatly admiring the character he played in the film, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg.

Cruise made his comments Sunday during a visit to Seoul, where "Valkyrie" opens Thursday, marking a rare promotional stop by Hollywood to South Korea, which traditionally focuses on neighbouring Japan as the industry's main Asian market.

"Valkyrie" director Bryan Singer said South Korea was picked as the first Asian country for the movie's release because it's "an extraordinary rising market" for both local and international films.

"Although the story takes place during the World War II, I found the story ageless," Cruise said. Making the movie "was a powerful experience that I will never forget."

Despite early skepticism toward "Valkyrie," the movie had a solid $21.5-million opening weekend in North America in December and has made a total $77.6 domestically since then, according to the box office tracking website Box Office Mojo.

South Korean movies, until recently the pride of Asian cinema for their ability to fend off American competition, are struggling even at home.

Box-office results for Seoul up to November 2008 place local films in the top two spots, but Hollywood films accounted for six of the top 10.

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