Joe Alwyn was "self-conscious" about his acting ambitions.
The 'Favourite' star initially kept his dream a secret because he felt awkward about putting himself in the spotlight as he'd never been "particularly extroverted" when he was growing up.
He said: "It means putting myself out there in a performative way and that wasn't necessarily something I did or was used to doing.
"It felt like it should be quite a 'look at me' job and that wasn't really how I felt growing up.
"I wasn't a particularly introverted kid, but I wasn't a particularly extroverted one either. So maybe I was self-conscious about the idea of saying to people, 'Look, I can do this.' "
The 28-year-old actor credits drama school with giving him "permission" to follow his dream and he was thankful his parents were so supportive.
He told Red magazine: "My parents were great about it. They're both freelance themselves, so while they recognise the perils they also couldn't say to me, 'We can follow what we want, but you can't. There wasn't a boundary, which helped a lot."
Just two weeks after graduating, Joe was asked to audition for 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' and "couldn't believe" he'd been offered such an amazing opportunity.
He recalled: "I'd just signed with an agent and I was kind of pinching myself, you know, 'How surreal is that?'
"She sent me a portion of the script for a film, 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' that Ang Lee was directing.
"I'd grown up watching his films so I couldn't believe I was even going to do a tape for someone like that.
"I got my dad to film me in a scene in my bedroom and some mates to film me during a lunch break.
"The next thing I know, Ang wants to meet me in New York."
Following a series of auditions, Joe had landed his first leading role at the age of 24, much to his shock.
He said: "It was so much so fast that I didn't really compute what was happening.
"Before that film, I was just a poor student who barely understood how people got auditions, let alone landed roles."