Gabriel Byrne says big-budget films have become too formulaic.
The Usual Suspects actor, 62, starred for two years in TV drama In Treatment , as psychotherapist Dr Paul Weston.
He told the Radio Times: "In television now, you're beginning to get really interesting parts. I could never have played a role like Paul Weston on film.
"The independent film as it existed in America is limping. That role, that audience, has been taken over by HBO. It essentially means you can watch those independent films at home.
"So we now have television that's provocative, that makes you react and think. And actors are beginning to cop on that the most original writing is in television. The villain, the hero, the weird-looking guy, the sexy girl... It's very formulaic in big-budget films."
Gabriel, who plays a deputy prime minister in four-part drama Secret State, on Channel 4, said he prefers political conspiracy to costume drama.
"Historical fiction tends to be about an imagined past. People look back and see through a rosy haze a world that was some kind of perfect place until 1913. We have a propensity to romanticise the most tragic events of history. The First World War, for example, is oftentimes depicted almost like an event that you were sorry you weren't there for," he said.
The Irish star said that he wasn't tempted to do more In Treatment, despite winning a Golden Globe for the role.
"I totally understand why people would say, 'For the next seven years, I'm going to make a ton of money and I'm safe and secure, and I know the limits of the job.' But for me, three years was more than enough, just like three years in the theatre would be more than enough."