Meryl Streep has confessed she once thought she was too ugly to become an actress.
The three time Oscar-winning actress - hailed as an inspiration to women and a sex symbol to men - accepted an honorary degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, and during a question and answer session afterwards she had some advice for young women in Hollywood worried about their looks.
According to local paper Indianapolis Monthly Meryl, 64, spoke about her early acting ambitions.
She confessed: "I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that.
"I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress. Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then."
Meryl was asked her advice for aspiring young performers.
She said: "For young women, I would say, don't worry so much about your weight. Girls spend way too much time thinking about that, and there are better things. For young men, and women, too, what makes you different or weird, that's your strength. Everyone tries to look a cookie-cutter kind of way and actually the people who look different are the ones who get picked up. I used to hate my nose. Now I don't. It's OK."
And the August, Osage County star - who has recently been filming in the Houses of Parliament in London for new film Suffragette, in which she plays Emmeline Pankhurst - talked about the challenges of finding work in Hollywood as an older woman.
Meryl revealed: "When I was 40, I was offered three witches in one summer. And I thought, 'OK, this is it. You turn 40, and oh my God!'
"The only reason I have a career at 64 is that I've had hits later in life. I've found that once certain movies are out, audiences aren't so age-phobic. They were willing, and they were happy."
Meanwhile, Meryl has also just received the 2014 Monte Cristo Award during a dinner held in her honour at the Edison Ballroom in New York. Michael Douglas, last year's recipient of the honour, and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones presented Meryl with the award.