DAME Julie Andrews was so "shy" as a young woman, people often misconstrued her lack of confidence for coldness.

The OSCAR-winning actress, 69, believes others thought she lacked a sense of humour, when in fact she felt intimidated after arriving in America to make movies with whom she considered the "gods".

She explains, "As a young woman I was very shy.

"When I first came to America, some people thought that I was cold or too reserved because I didn't come across with a ready sense of humour.

"I hadn't been taught to do that, only to be professional and to get out there and do the job.

"And what seemed coldness then was really more naivety and a sense of reticence, because as far as I was concerned I was working with the gods.

"You wouldn't think so, but I'm still shy."

01/11/2004 10:47