Brenda Blethyn has warned that the high cost of drama school means it's harder for working-class people to break into the acting industry.
The Vera actress grew up as the youngest of nine children in a working-class family, and said they were sometimes so strapped for cash they couldn't afford new shoes.
She told the Mirror she "wouldn't stand a chance" if she was trying to launch her acting career now.
"Back then if I didn't have a grant, I'd have had a go by sweeping floors, anything to try to get into the industry," she said.
"But now it's so much harder for young people. And working-class people in particular find it so difficult to pay the fees."
Brenda, 70, said she gets plenty of letters from people asking for money to help them fund their courses.
"It's not just moaning, it's an observation," she said. "This is about people not getting grants and not being offered the same opportunities."