Jonathan Rhys Meyers is urging his acting peers in Britain to spend more time in America if they're sick of being paparazzi targets - because US snappers have more respect for stars.

Despite recent reports to the contrary, the BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM star insists the media in his native London has gone crazy of late and now he can't wait to escape to New York and Los Angeles.

He says, "London is appalling. At least the paparazzi in America have just that little respect for privacy. In England they have no respect for privacy and there's been many a situation where actors and actresses have actually been set up in drug buys by newspapers and then they expose them.

"One young actor, who was set up in a drug buy by a newspaper, was thrown in jail for three years. Why did they do that? For good copy.

"They don't care because, while they're pushing 10 million magazines a week, someone's making an awful lot of money. The fact that they've got a journalist pass and they've got a camera in their hand qualifies them to invade your life."

Rhys Myers has a philosophical outlook about the paparazzi that stalk him: "What could I do? Go up and have an attitude with him? No, because in six hours it might be productive for me to have him there because I'm on a red carpet."