Sheridan Smith has revealed her West End portrayal of a barmaid in Terrence Rattigan's Flare Path got her spotted by Dustin Hoffman.
The Gavin And Stacey star won the best actress gong for the role at the 57th London Evening Standard Theatre Awards, where she revealed appearing in the play also got her cast in Dustin's directorial debut Quartet.
Sheridan said: "He was an amazing man and he saw me in Flare Path so it was lucky that I did the play and then the film came off the back of that."
The 30-year-old actress admitted she was humbled to work with the star of Rainman, as well as a cast including Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Michael Gambon.
She said: "I just wanted to curtsey every day on set. I felt so out of my depth. But no, it was incredible.
"And the cast, with Dame Maggie Smith, it was just a phenomenal cast, I was very honoured to be a part of it."
Sheridan, who rose to fame in BBC comedy Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps and won awards for starring as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, admitted she had enjoyed taking on a serious role in Flare Path.
She said: "That's why I took the role, because it was so different. I loved it and we got to meet bomber command surviving pilots and it was a real learning curve for me. But I loved doing something really serious for once.
She added: "I'll go where the work takes me, I'm just happy to be working to be honest. But I really enjoyed doing a straight play. I loved the musical as well, obviously, but it's nice to step out of your comfort zone and try something new."