Dominic West has said being sent to boarding school when he was young was almost as traumatic as losing his parents.
The British actor, who attended Eton, said being educated away from home had a "major effect" on him.
He told Radio Times: "It was the worst feeling I have ever had, very similar to the grief when my parents died.
"It's the same thing really; you think you've lost your parents.
"I learned to bury the emotional effects of that and then I went to drama school and had to dig it all up again."
Dominic, 46, admitted it used to irritate him that he was pigeon-holed as an "Old Etonian".
And he said he doubted he would have landed his role in gritty American crime drama The Wire if it had been a BBC series.
He explained: "In America, the British class system doesn't exist.
"I don't know if I would ever have had the chance to play a blue-collar cop like McNulty in The Wire on the BBC.
"I got away with it there. Americans are very forgiving on accents because they don't really know how other people sound."
This week's Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.