Jennifer Connelly lived in a cramped New York apartment for 10 years because she refused to pay "ridiculous" prices for a more fitting family home.

The actress insists she'd still be holed up in her tiny home if it wasn't for the fact that her British husband Paul Bettany kept banging his head on the ceilings and her son KAI kept complaining that he didn't have enough space.

The Oscar winner says, "I think New York City is expensive. I think it's hard to find an apartment in Manhattan. I lived in the same apartment for 10 years. I got to a point where I thought, 'I really should move,' but I'd spend a week looking at stuff and I'd get disgusted.

"I'm not paying $5,000-a-month for a box above a funeral parlour!

"I stayed in that old place until finally we were a family of four and my husband cursed me every day because he was too tall.

"We were sleeping in a loft because Kai had the only proper bedroom; it was absurd. I think it's quite challenging finding a good place to live in New York City."

Connelly's house hunting nightmares led her to plead with the director of her new movie Dark Water to scale down the home her character shares with her daughter in the film.

She adds, "Of course apartments in movies are so unbelievable. They've got these big lofts with great views and they've got the sub-zero fridge and the Viking stove. Dude, she can't afford that, she's a secretary."

03/07/2005 09:00