'Cold Mountain' director Anthony Minghella has praised Jack White's debut acting performance in the Oscar-tipped film.

The White Stripes frontman plays a soldier in the civil war epic, as well as contributing songs to the soundtrack.

In an interview in the NME, the director describes White as an "absolute natural".

He said: "Jack is fantastic in this film. You would never know he is not an actor by profession. He is an absolute natural, tremendous."

"We cast him in 'Cold Mountain' because of the songs. For his role, he has to sing - that's why I got him. But then we discovered he can act too, so he sings and acts."