Kate Beckinsale understands her daughter's acting ambitions.

The 'Love & Friendship' star - who has 17-year-old Lily with her former partner Michael Sheen - can see why the teenager is interested in becoming an actress but is glad she has been able to see all sides of the job through her famous parents.

Asked if she tried to discourage her daughter from becoming an actress, she said: ''That would be like sitting there with a glass of wine saying, 'You can't have a drink'. I can see why she wants to do it.

''I don't love the downside of it for my baby. But it's not like she hasn't seen both of her parents having a real experience of what it's like. She has seen us ecstatic and miserable - she's seen that, squared.''

Since their split, the 43-year-old actress and the 'Masters of Sex' star have remained close friends and Kate is good pals with Michael's current partner Sarah Silverman too.

Speaking about their friendship, she added: ''It's so normal for us. We split up ages ago. We have been not together far longer than we were ever together.

''But I really love him and like him and we make each other roar with laughter. I really love his girlfriend as well, and we are really lucky that we both get on, and Lily gets on great with her - having as many strong females in your teenage daughter's life as possible is a good thing.''

Kate - who was born in Chiswick, west London - will be spending Christmas with Michael, Lily and Sarah in Los Angeles and quipped she will be doing all she can to make warm LA into a winter wonderland.

She told the new issue of ES magazine: ''I turn up the air-conditioning and hire a snow machine so we can feel cold and see snow. It's difficult for a British person to make it feel like Christmas when it's warm outside.''