Winona Ryder was told she wasn't ''pretty enough'' to be an actress.

The 41-year-old actress - whose movie credits include 'Heathers' and 'Edward Scissorhands' - said she was discouraged from pursuing a movie career when she first started out by a casting director who felt she wasn't photogenic enough.

She told Interview magazine: ''I was in the middle of auditioning and I was mid-sentence when the casting director said, 'Listen, kid. You should not be an actress. You are not pretty enough. You should go back to wherever you came from and you should go to school. You don't have it.' She was very blunt - I honestly think that she thought she was doing me a favour.''

However, the 'Iceman' star wasn't deterred from her dream career and credits her parents for giving her the confidence to ''be unique''.

She added: ''I was around 15 or 16. But it's funny - and this is a testament to my parents and how they raised me - I wasn't crushed. ''They had always instilled in me that it was way cooler to be an individual and to be unique and that you don't want to blend in.''

Having shot to fame at an early age herself, Winona sympathises with young actresses Jennifer Lawrence, 22, and Kristen Stewart, 23, and admits she couldn't cope with the intense media scrutiny which exists today.

She said: ''I have to say, I really wonder if I would become an actress if I was their age now. I've only seen part of 'Twilight', but I've seen their other work and they're both super-talented. I don't know how they do it, though, in just trying to maintain some degree of a personal life and privacy.''