A LOT LIKE LOVE star Amanda Peet is amazed by her movie success, because so many Hollywood casting agents have told her how "terrible" her acting skills are.

The brunette beauty received numerous knockbacks when she was first starting out - and she insists the criticism was fair.

She says, "Someone who interviewed me recently was friends with the casting director from CENTRAL PARK WEST, a show I did a long time ago, and said, 'The woman who cast you wanted to send her regards and say she was so proud of how far you've come because you were so terrible!'

"That's what she said! But the truth is, and I'm not being self-deprecating, I really was terrible. I was good sometimes in class but I could never perform that way because I was too afraid and self-conscious.

"Getting a big break before I had a lot of experience would have never worked for me. I had to come at it incrementally. My dad always says, from HAMLET, 'The readiness is all.' My problem was that I thought I was ready."