Charlize Theron was so convinced her good looks were blocking her from landing decent film roles when she first arrived in Hollywood, she often went to auditions with dirty hair.

The South African actress, who scooped an Academy Award last year (04) for her portrayal of a serial killer in MONSTER, insists that while her beauty has been the envy of many women, it proved to be a hindrance to her.

She says, "You're a newcomer and you look a certain way and people go, 'Nobody's going to care about somebody looking like her.'

"That was the biggest problem in my career. It was years of showing up at auditions in baggy pants and dirty hair and things like that - to prove to people that it wasn't something I was concerned about. It was a pain in the a*s.

"But would I want it any other way? No. I like that I had to fight for things. I think in some ways it made me the actor I am today."