Romola Garai Jenny Brough

The actress also hinted she would be reluctant to work in Hollywood again because it treats artists as “commodities”.

Garai, 33, who stars in upcoming film Suffragette, said little would change until women held more roles in the filmmaking world.

In an interview with ES Magazine, published tomorrow, she also spoke candidly about the pressure she had faced as a rising star to lose weight.

She said: “I work in an industry where it is still acceptable to humiliate women. You are expected to wear certain clothes because they are selling a show on the way you look.

“If you have been waiting tables for two years and somebody gives you a job on a massive TV show and they say ‘we want you to get your tits out,’ you’re going to f***ing do it.

“Then you have to wait to be powerful enough to say ‘no,’ but then you have to be a producer. As long as films are being made by five guys who know that ‘if she gets her knockers out’ this film will make $10 million more, then it’s not going to change.”

Garai will next be seen on screen as the Suffragette wife of an MP in the upcoming film of the same name written by Abi Morgan and starring Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan.

She was spotted by an agent at a National Youth Theatre production when she was a student at City of London School for Girls. Director Stephen Poliakoff once hailed her as “the new Kate Winslet” and she went on to star in Atonement, with Keira Knightley, and the BBC drama The Hour. But at 21 she was cast in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights — and the experience put her off working in Hollywood.

She said: “I was only just out of being a child. In the Hollywood studio system you are just a commodity to sell films with. There are so many actresses who are happy to be on a diet for the rest of their lives.

“For me the weight thing is a metaphor for control. Making women feel weak because they’re so insecure so they won’t disagree with the director or studio. Women feel afraid they’re going to lose their careers, afraid of being fat or ageing.” She added: “If you can’t get into the dresses, it is a really big deal. I just want to be employed by people who love me as I am.”

She also said she had worked with bullies during her 15-year acting career. “I felt throughout my twenties that if I were a 40-year-old man, people wouldn’t mind so much when I didn’t agree with them,” she said.

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