Kierston Wareing didn't realise how famous Ken Loach was when she starred in 'It's a Free World...'.

The 38-year-old actress starred as Angie in the 2007 film and has thanked the 'I, Daniel Blake' director for giving her her first big break on the big screen.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, she said: ''At the time I didn't know any different as I had only done one-liners.

''But now obviously he is an iconic director. Ken Loach massively stands out for me. I completely see that now.

''It was an honour working with Ken and not only is it an honour, how can I forget him. He gave me that break and the confidence in himself to take an unknown actor and give me that opportunity.''

Loach is renowned for documenting the struggles of the British working class communities and has never succumbed to the temptation of Hollywood.

In 'It's a Free World...' Wareing was nominated for a BAFTA and was pitted against Hollywood legends such as Dame Judi Dench.

Most recently, the former 'EastEnders' actress nabbed a role in the highest-grossing Irish film of 2017 so far, 'Cardboard Gangsters' by Mark O'Connor, which follows several Irish lads who try to take over a drug trade.

The blonde beauty knew from the start that it would be a success.

She said: ''I just thought it was great. I loved the character and the script. I flew out to Dublin and had a quick chat with John Connors (co-star and writer) and Mark about the character and then the next day got on with it.

''It was all kind of quick. But while I was filming it, I had a good feeling it was going to be a good one.

''It all felt so natural. I didn't realise how well it had done. You never think like that. Never think something will be that big.

''I thought it was going to be big but not as big as it is. I am really pleased and proud to be part of it.''

'Cardboard Gangsters' will be released in the UK on August 4, with limited release in London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow.