Werner Herzog has said he plays a "real bad a** bad guy" in his new film with Tom Cruise.

The Rescue Dawn director plays the villain opposite the Hollywood hero in new crime drama One Shot directed by Christopher McQuarrie.

Herzog said: "Tom Cruise is a good guy and I'm one of the villains, in fact I'm sort of the worst of them - a real bad a** bad guy."

The 69-year-old German director - who lives in Los Angeles and has made over 40 films in his life - revealed he didn't find it difficult to take direction from somebody else, but found it interesting.

Herzog said: "I have absolutely no problem taking directions. I find it totally correct. It's a different person's vision, it's a different story that I haven't concocted and for me it's interesting to see the world of cinema from a different side, and in this case a big Hollywood production.

"To see how this system is working, and ultimately it boils down to the same basic facts, a camera, sound and a light bulb."

:: Herzog's new documentary Into The Abyss opens in cinemas today (March 30).