Omid Djalili only signed up for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms because he's friends with director Lasse Hallstrom.

The Mummy star plays Cavalier alongside Jack Whitehall as Harlequin, two hapless guards of the Four Realms, in Disney's latest fantasy adventure.

The British actor admits he said yes to the project without looking at a script, simply because he wanted to work with Lasse, who he previously collaborated with on 2005's Casanova.

"I wasn't approached with the script. I was only approached with one name attached and that was the director Lasse Hallstrom," Omid told reporters at the film's London premiere. "I'd worked with him before. Lasse Hallstrom, apart from being a genius, people always forget that he did all the ABBA videos, and that's good enough for me."

In addition to helming films such as The Cider House Rules, Dear John and What's Eating Gilbert Grape, the 72-year-old Swedish film director helped make almost all of ABBA's music videos, including Waterloo, Dancing Queen, and Mamma Mia.

He shares a directing credit on Nutcracker with Joe Johnston, who took charge of the reshoots.

In the rest of the chat, Omid shared that he was pleased to learn that British comedian Jack, who will be starring in Disney's upcoming adventure Jungle Cruise, would be his sidekick.

"Six weeks after I said yes they said Jack Whitehall is with you. Jack was a friend, Lasse Hallstrom was a friend and they were the only people I worked with. To me, it was working with two good, close friends," he added.

The Infidel actor, 53, went on to confess that he just turned up and shot his scenes with Jack, and he has no idea how they fit in with the rest of the story.

"I don't know anything about this film, I was in a daze making it, I have no clue what it's about," he admitted, adding he was yet to see it. "I never read anything, just did my bits and left."

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which stars Keira Knightley and Mackenzie Foy, is cinemas now.