Anna Friel ''sacrificed'' a career in Hollywood to be the best mum she could be.

The former 'Pushing Daisies' actress - who has an 11-year-old daughter, Gracie, with ex-boyfriend David Thewlis - has admitted her professional life has suffered because of her decision to stay in England to be near her child's father rather than relocate back to America, where acting opportunities are more lucrative.

She said: ''I just love being a mum. My agents would love me to go back there [to America] but you choose a career in America or you take your child away from their father.

''I had to sacrifice that. It gets harder because I can't just accept jobs that are in England.''

Anna revealed that David, who starred as Remus Lupin in the 'Harry Potter' movies, lives close to her and Gracie - but pays only for school fees and a nanny and she is happy with the arrangement.

She told Red magazine: ''I pay the rest. I've always been independent and financially supported myself since I was 16. It's meant that I can be in relationships, or not be in them, because of love rather than need.''

In fact, the 40-year-old beauty has come to see dating as something you ''just get on with'', explaining how ageing has led her to become a ''bit more grounded and a little wiser''.

She shared: ''It's not at all romantic, it's more; 'Let's see how this goes.' ''

Meanwhile, the former 'Brookside' star also insisted she wasn't willing to maintain the same self-discipline that has seemingly enabled other actresses to retain their youthful appearance.

The 'Land of the Lost' star - who has also previously dated Welsh actor Rhys Ifans - said: ''I think it's important for real women to know that there are personal trainers involved and [looking like that] probably means no carbs, or just a few in the morning, and going to bed at eight or nine.

''It's a massive discipline and you have to ask yourself; 'Is that the life I want?' I want a happy medium.''