Mark Rylance was inspired to make films by Daniel Day-Lewis.

The 55-year-old actor - who will appear in the forthcoming movie of the Roald Dahl novel 'The BFG' - used to feel inadequate when making films because other stars around at the time were so talented.

He explained: ''A few years ago I decided I didn't really want to do film any more. I certainly didn't want to be involved in going off round the world to promote films. I was really happy in the theatre.

''As an actor, you're told all the time by your agent you must do a film. After a while, I thought, 'F**k it. I always wanted to be a theatre actor, to make a good living, I have wonderful stuff to do. I'm gifted in that area. Why should I have to struggle and always feel I'm somehow inadequate because I don't do television or film?'

''I hated the idea that you had to wait around to get a film job. I watched Dan Day-Lewis and Gary Oldman and Ken Branagh, Tim Roth, lots of really brilliant actors who do fantastic things on film. And while I kind of idolised what they were doing, I thought, 'I just can't do that. I'm not that kind of actor.''

However, a chance encounter with the 'Lincoln' actor inspired him to return to the screen, because he realised there was nothing holding him back from stepping out of theatre roles and trying different mediums.

He told The Sunday Times newspaper: ''I had no idea he would even be aware of what I was doing. And, of course, he was very aware of it. Very, very friendly. And I thought, 'How ridiculous!' I could have been friends with Dan all these years, you know, and shared my delight with things he pulled off, rather than putting him on a pedestal.

''I think that really poked the ice for me, and I thought, 'This is ridiculous.' I've loved films since I was a kid ... this is the pride of a 20-year-old man now.''