Dominic West thinks British actors get cast in the US because they are less expensive to hire.

The 40-year-old actor, who portrays Jimmy McNulty in 'The Wire', thinks casting directors prefer UK stars because they don't cost as much money and don't complain as much as their American counterparts.

He said: "Why are British stars doing so well? I suppose my flippant answer is that we're cheaper and we don't complain as much, but I don't know why, really.

"One reason might be that American actors may not be so good in an ensemble. They'd be more interested in being a star, whereas 'The Wire' was very much an ensemble piece."

Dominic also admits the crime drama - which ran for five seasons until 2008 - has bought him new-found fame, and often people want to talk to him about it before anything else.

He said: "It's the only reason most people want to talk to me. It has certainly changed my career, it's brought me a bit of recognition. It's great that a lot of people of all ages and backgrounds are digging it."

The actor will soon star in 'Centurion' and admits his favourite part about the film - which tells the tale of a Roman legion that gets wiped out on a mission into Scotland - was getting messy with co-star Olga Kurylenko, although he couldn't get too close because of her large weaponry.

He told FHM magazine: "I have to say, I did enjoy rolling around in the mud with Olga Kurylenko. That was why I wanted to do the film. Unfortunately she turned up with a 15ft pike and I never managed to get near her."