A Better Life star Demian Bichir gave up his dream of becoming a professional soccer star when a sports coach urged him to stick to acting.

The Oscar nominee hails from one of Mexico's most beloved acting families, but he grew up dreaming of a sports career.

That all changed when he invited his soccer coach to see one of his early plays.

The Heat star recalls, "I had this opening night for this beautiful play in Mexico and when they asked for my guest list, I only thought of my coach from the team.

"He went to the play and the next time we trained he said, 'You know who (soccer legend) Pele is? He didn't really have any other choice, and you're a good actor, so you should think about that'.

"So that was that. That was the end of it (soccer dream)."