Mark Rylance has claimed Hollywood has become a ''sink or swim'' environment for actors.

The 55-year-old star admits the film industry has evolved so that there's less room for performers to make mistakes.

Speaking at the world premiere of his new movie The Gunman, which also stars, Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone -Rylance told BANG Showbiz, "I think some very great film actors didn't do any theatre work. I don't think Robert Mitchum ever acted in the theatre. I don't think that Sean's done a lot of theatre, so I don't think that's necessarily true. I think people have a rather elevated opinion of theatre actors.

''If you are a theatre actor, it's obviously a lot cheaper and you can get a lot more experience, doing lots of parts in different things.

''It depends very much on how you approach your work and whether you keep your eyes and ears attuned to your natural behaviour or not. But I think it's undoubtedly true that you can get a lot more experience in theatre, be involved in a lot more things and learn. You can make mistakes without so much pressure, that's nice.''

He added, ''The days of Hollywood when they were making 200 or 300 films a year in someone like Mitchum's day, you could get a lot of experience.

''Now it's more pressured and even when you're on set, it's pretty high pressure. You don't have so much time to practice, especially with rehearsals and a long run for a year, you have to sink or swim.''