Meryl Streep can't watch her old movies because she was ''so unhappy'' whilst filming them.

The 69-year-old actress might be a Hollywood icon with an extensive filmography, but the star says she won't watch any of her old movies, because they bring back memories of a time when she wasn't happy with her appearance.

She said: ''I'll come upon a movie I'm in, and I'm very young and very beautiful. But I was so unhappy. I thought my nose was too big, I thought I was fat. Because these are things that people tell you.''

The 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' actress played with her image throughout her career, and says she often purposely took on roles that would take away her beauty, so audiences had to focus on her talent.

Speaking to Stephen Colbert at the annual Montclair Film fundraiser in New Jersey, Meryl is quoted by Vanity Fair as saying: ''I could play older when I was young. I could play a man in 'Angels in America'. I could screw around with how I looked. Which to me is a political act: to say 'it's not always going to attract your lust or your interest, or anything to do with ingratiation.'''

Despite her own hang-ups with her body, supermodel Cindy Crawford recently revealed she used to look up to Meryl as a ''beautiful woman'' when she was growing up and dreaming of a modelling career.

She said: ''I really looked up to, of course, beautiful women like Marilyn Monroe and I loved Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep. But I also like strong women and also professional women. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a nuclear physicist, so I looked up to women that were scientists.''