British acting legend Christopher Lee has slammed Hollywood's obsession with youth, insisting the employment of beautiful but talentless teenagers is sabotaging modern movies.

The Star Wars veteran, 83, is appalled by producers' willingness to cast young stars in emotionally-complex roles, and insists a backlash is on the horizon.

And he fears for the reputations of young stars, condemning Los Angeles studios for pushing their protege's too far.

He says, "The problem today, and I think it's a very dangerous one for the people concerned, is that there are quite large numbers of very young men and women from 18 to 30, and they are playing very large parts in huge films and they simply, through no fault of their own, don't have the background and the experience and the knowledge to pull if off.

"And it's dangerous for them because if they are in one failure after another, sooner or later people are going to say, 'Well, he may have a pretty face but he's not bringing the public in.'

"So many of these good-looking - sometimes even pretty - boys and girls are getting these good roles and it's not fair on them. At some point it's going to catch up."