Sam Claflin spends weeks ''not eating'' before an audition because he is so ''insecure'' about his body.

The 30-year-old actor admitted he experiences a lot of nerves and anxiety over his physique and he believes the body shaming men go through is almost as bad as that which women in Hollywood experience.

He said: ''I read in an interview recently and I think it's absolutely true: men have it just as bad. Well, not just as bad but they get it bad and it's never talked about.

''I'm not saying it's anywhere near as bad as what women go through but I, as an actor approaching each job, am insecure -- especially when I have to take my top off in it -- and so nervous.

''I get really worked up to the point where I spend hours and hours in the gym and not eating for weeks to achieve what I think they're going for.''

And the 'Me Before You' star recalled how he has been left feeling like a ''piece of meat'' and was ordered to lose weight for a part.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: ''I remember doing one job when they literally made me pull my shirt up and were grabbing my fat and going 'you need to lose a bit of weight.'

''This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat.''

The 'My Cousin Rachel' star thinks actors are held to a different standard these days.

He said: ''In the '50s and '60s, it was never an issue. James Bond never had a six pack. He had a hairy chest.

''Marlon Brando​ in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' had an incredible body but he was by no means ripped to within an inch of his life. There's a filter on society that this is normal, but actually it's anything but normal.''