Bill Nighy finds being an actor ''scary''.

The 'Love Actually' star insists he isn't a workaholic and always enjoys taking time off without feeling guilty, because being on a movie set makes him feel ''paranoid''.

He said: ''I have been accused of workaholism but most people go to work every day. They have three or four weeks off a year and nobody says to them, 'You're a workaholic'.

''I'm very good at [downtime] actually. I'm very good at walking round, very good at coffee, very good at bookshops, very good at listening to music...

''I love to sit in a cafe with a book, and I don't feel guilty about it because, when I do work, it's scary.

''If you want to get paranoid, go on a film set. There are 100 people, then someone says 'action' and the other 98 people start looking at you. I always think I can't do it, so my life has been a series of surprises.''

While the 67-year-old star loves taking time off, he doesn't like going away on holiday.

He admitted ''I've never been good at holidays. In the old days, actors didn't leave the country because the phone might ring and anyway, you didn't have any money.''

And Bill is always baffled by people's assumptions he is a laid-back person because he gets so nervous about his work.

He told Red magazine: ''People throughout my life have told me I'm laid-back. They say, 'It's alright for you, you're mellow.' Mellow! Try being in my head and being mellow.

''Opening plays is the scariest thing and it doesn't get any easier. I used to imagine the audience could feel my alarm, when I'm standing in front of a thousand people with my head on fire and adrenaline pumping through my system.

''And yet, I come off and people tell me I seemed relaxed. Apparently, what happens in the situation is that I resemble someone who is OK.

''You always think people know what is going on inside your head and - thank God - they don't.

''I don't think I'm particularly temperamentally suited to me job. In fact, I know I'm not.''