Gemma Arterton has said she sometimes still feels "sad and desperate".
Despite being one of Hollywood's hottest stars with roles in Prince Of Persia and Quantum Of Solace under her belt, the former Bond girl describes herself as being "a loser" in her teenage years.
"I was very bookish, very much into amateur dramatics, and I wasn't really a hit with the guys, either - I was a bit sad and a bit desperate; I still feel like that inside, it's funny," she said.
"That's how I started, which is the geekiest thing ever," she added.
The change in confidence came when Gemma - who next appears in Tamara Drewe alongside Dominic Cooper - worked as a karaoke hostess in what she describes as a 'gangster pub' in London.
"I had to become really very self-assured very quickly to survive," she revealed.
"Someone tried to whack me over the head with a crowbar one night because I wouldn't serve him. I was 18 and I remember saying, 'Calm down and get out'. That was really when I grew up."
:: Tamara Drewe opens in cinemas on September 10.