Anna Friel has confessed she has conformed to Hollywood pressures to look good to get work.

The 33-year-old British actress – who got her break in the US in TV show Pushing Daisies and is now starring in action blockbuster Land Of The Lost with Will Ferrell – told The Independent she has to stay thin and attractive to get roles.

Anna said: “When I first arrived in Los Angeles, it took some time before I realised that you do have to conform to a type – you do have to stay slim, and you can’t make excuses.

“Looking good is a serious business and you have to make a decision to go along with it or else you’re just not going to get the work. In the beginning, I had such an awful time that I just wanted to run back home. But, looking back today, I’m glad I stuck it out.

“I never aspired to be just the pretty girl because, if that’s all you’re known for, then you’re going to have a pretty short career. Mature actresses like Susan Sarandon or Judi Dench are far more interesting to me.”

Anna and partner David Thewlis live in Los Angeles with their three-year-old daughter Gracie.

*Anna stars in The Street on BBC One on Monday, July 20*