Australian actress Toni Collette has come clean about her childhood appendicitis operation - she merely wanted to know what it would feel like to be cut up.

The MURIEL'S WEDDING star was intrigued by her mother's medical story about her own appendicitis and she decided to try it for herself - and she kept her secret from her parents until she blabbed about it in an interview.

She explains, "I just wanted to fake my appendicitis and see what it would be like to be cut open.

"My mum had her appendix taken out when she was 11 so when I was younger she told me the story and said, 'When the doctor comes to feel you to check how you're going, he presses in and it doesn't hurt. It's when he lets go...'

"So when he let go, I did all the right things. I was young, I can't rationalise it now. I find it embarrassing.

"A couple of years ago, I was doing a show on Broadway and I did an interview and my parents dropped into town and there it was - front page."

03/12/2003 08:59