Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons has walked back controversial remarks he made on the issue of gay marriage.

In his original remarks during a Huffington Post Live interview, Irons, 64, said that he worried that such unions would “debase” marriage.

“It seems to me that [in England] they're fighting for the name and I worry that it means somehow we debase or we change what marriage is,” Irons said during a Huffington Post Live interview. “I just worry about that. I mean tax wise is an interesting one. Because … you see, could a father not marry his son?”

Irons went to say that it might be possible for him to marry his son and “pass on my estate without death duties.”

During an appearance on BBC's HARDtalk, Irons told host Stephen Sackur that he should have just “buttoned my lip.”

“I didn't have any opinion about gay marriage,” Irons said. “I don't have much opinion about heterosexual marriage. Except I sort of think it might possibly protect children, make it easier for children. That's why I married my wife.”

“Gay marriage is not something I have any feelings about at all. I'm quite interested in what it does to marriage. Which is why we were having this rather bizarre conversation.”

“It changes it, doesn't it? I mean marriage is about procreation, really. That's how historically it has always been.”

“I was just rather amused by the idea which I put forward. It had nothing to do with my feelings, Mike. I think gay marriage is wonderful.”

“What had left me wondering is whether you feel personally …,” Sackur started to ask.

“I'll tell you what I felt,” Irons interrupted. “I felt I should have buttoned my lip. I was just flying a kite.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)