Bill Nighy has criticised younger actors for not learning their lines properly.

The 67-year-old BAFTA-winning actor has had a career which has spanned five decades and featured roles in a number of box office hits such as playing Davy Jones in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise and appearing as rocker Billy Mack in 'Love Actually' and working with some of the biggest names in the business.

Nighy claims that he's noticed a worrying trend with new actors who don't seem to want to put the work in and learn their lines properly before turning up for work.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, he said: ''If you're doing anything whether it's a play or a film, learn every single word that you have to say backwards forwards and sideways before you go into a rehearsal room and before you go on a film set. That might sound like an obvious thing, but it's not currently; there is a fashion for not knowing your lines.

''It's been invented by people who don't want to do their homework, even as a creative choice. You will not become imprisoned by intonations, and therefore it's a discourtesy to your fellow professionals. That's a piece of bulls**t from people who don't do their homework. That's an important thing to know. That's as important a thing I could possibly say. You can't rehearse with a book in your hand. And you can't go and be on the sides of a film set and not know your lines until someone turns the camera. There is no lightning. Nothing's going to strike. Rehearsal is not the enemy of spontaneity. The idea is the process is you say the lines over and over and over and over and over again until you can give the impression that you've never said them before and it's just occurred to you. That's the gig.''

Nighy is particularly dismayed that some of his younger peers have been advised not to do their homework and learn their lines, insisting it is just bad practice as a professional actor.

He added: ''It's entered the language in a very deep way. Professionals will advise young actors not to learn. It's got that bad.''