Jude Law learned to appreciate his good looks after piling on the pounds to play a bloated, balding criminal in a new movie.

The British actor put on weight and shaved his hair for his role in new comedy Dom Hemingway, and he relished the chance to fatten up for the film.

However, the Alfie star admits he felt better about his flaws once he was back to full fitness.

He says, "It was a joyous role to take on. Because I am at a stage in my life where I'm panicking a bit. 'Ooh, am I going a bit bald? Am I getting a bit (fat)?' You can't help doing that in your late 30s, can you? When you realise you are no longer the 21 year old you used to be.

"So playing someone who was letting it all go was really liberating. And actually - even better than that - now that I've lost the weight and my receding hairline isn't quite as bad as we made it look for the part, I can look in the mirror and think, 'Oh it's not that bad! I'm still looking alright, actually!'"