Dame Maggie Smith doesn't think she'd make it in the film industry if she joined it now.

The 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' star praised the young women who join the film industry nowadays for being so ''brave'' about having to ''strip off every second''.

Appearing with Dame Judi Dench at a fundraising talk for the Tricycle Theatre in north London, she said: ''I think they are so brave, the young actresses of today. They seem to have to strip off every second. I can't imagine how they cope with it today, I really don't. They are required to do the most extraordinary things.

''If I was asked to start now, I just don't think I could, seriously. It's difficult to imagine myself at that age because girls are starting even younger than how young I was [when I started]. I think it's very, very, very hard now.''

Meanwhile, the 82-year-old actress previously admitted she still finds acting ''scary''.

She said: ''Oh, I know, I keep hearing that. Obviously at some times I have been like that - the awful thing is, I'm sort of very aware when I'm being difficult but I'm usually ... so scared ... And that's shaming, at the age one is.

''Because every time I start anything, I think, 'This time I'm going to be like Jude [Dench], and it will all be lovely, it will be merry and bright, the Quaker will come out in me.' But it never works. Jude has a wonderful calm, it's very enviable. I think it would be hairy if she let fly, but I've never seen that.''

However, Maggie doesn't want to ''frighten'' people by being nicer.

She added: ''But it's gone too far now, to take back. If I suddenly came on like Pollyanna, it wouldn't work - it would frighten people more if I were nice. They'd be paralysed with fear. And wonder what I was up to.

''But perhaps I should try it ... 'Hello! What fun! We're going to be here all day! And then filming all night too! Goody! And it's so lovely and cold!'''