Speaking to presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on Monday, the star explained he enjoys his job so much he find it hard to take a break.
"My family is sacred to me and my work is sacred to me," he said.
"I have lost count (of the number of movies) but I would have to say it is in the eighties, it's been 35 years of this.
"Last year I took the entire year off, I did one little movie at the beginning and then I took the rest of the year off, which is good for me because I had been working a lot.
"But a lot of thought goes into it, I have to find a script that I believe I can commit to and portray in an honest way, that's becoming increasingly important to me."
I am a working dog...I gotta work, I enjoy it.
The actor can now be seen in his new film The Frozen Ground which tells the true story of serial killer Robert Hansen who murdered between 17 and 21 women in the early 1980s.
In the movie Nicolas portrays real-life Alaskan State Trooper Glenn Flothe who was relentless in his quest to catch the killer.
"Frozen Ground was interesting because I was playing a real person and a real hero," he explained.
"He risked his life to put this serial killer behind bars and he went up against incredible hardship in the justice system to take him seriously.
"And I said (to him) 'look Glenn, I really want to make you look good, what you did was important and I am not going to let you down'.
"I wanted him to know that I was going to do my best for him."
And despite starring in huge Hollywood blockbusters such as National Treasure and Face/Off, Nicolas said admitted he has plans for smaller roles in the future.
"These days I am just interested in doing independently spirited movies, I want to get back to my dramatic roots," he said.
"Like Sir Michael Caine, you always see him in great edgy performances in independent films and that's a career I would like to emulate."