Director Roman Polanski has upset one of Britain's best-loved veteran actresses, Liz Smith, who believes the Academy Award winner to be "difficult".

Smith, 83, famed for her portrayal of eccentric old women, also thinks her Oliver Twist director is an "unusual" man, despite her professional respect for him.

Grandmother Smith, who also starred in recent remake Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, was reportedly so unhappy she refused to attend a cast screening of Oliver Twist because she couldn't bear to be in the same room as Polanski.

She says, "I've the greatest admiration and respect for him, but I did find him very difficult to work with.

"He's an unusual director. That's all I'll say."

Although details of the row are sketchy, Smith promises to tell all in her autobiography OUR BETTY, published early next year (06).