Mike Leigh is unimpressed with the quality of emerging actors, branding many new stars "thick" and not "versatile".
The director is adamant the huge number of actors in the industry's union Equity inevitably means some are not cut out for a career on the big screen.
He tells Britain's Daily Express, "Let's be honest, there are maybe up to 90,000 members of Equity, which means there are a lot of actors out there. But a lot of actors are thick.
"They don't know what they're doing, they aren't versatile, they can't do real people and their acting is the kind where the characters behave like actors.
"It's as much as they can do to learn the lines and not fall over the furniture."
However, Leigh is full of praise for stars from his native Britain: "In this country we are also blessed with a lot of very talented actors who really are serious creative types."
Leigh is back in the director's chair this week with his new movie Another Year, which sees him work with Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen.
Another Year is released 5th November.
tagged in Mike Leigh