Hollywood star Kathleen Turner says the theatre has been a salvation for older actresses such as her when great movie roles have been thin on the ground.
Romancing The Stone star Turner has returned to London's West End to appear in Bakersfield Mist after previously taking a starring role in a stage adaptation of The Graduate.
The 59-year-old said: "I always knew as I got older that the more exciting women's roles would be on stage. Film simply doesn't take the time to build the complexity of characters that you have in theatre.
"That's why I kept doing theatre throughout the years when I had a very, very hot film career going. I would always come back to stage because I knew this is where I would want to be later on.
"The characters I get to do now are fascinating people and I don't think that that would be true of film, altogether. I think film is missing out on these wonderful women."
Turner, who voiced Who Framed Roger Rabbit's Jessica Rabbit, said she was more at home on the stage than a film set.
Her latest role at London's Duchess Theatre sees her playing a woman who believes she may have unearthed a Jackson Pollock art work and seeks the help of an expert (Ian McDiarmid) for his professional opinion.
Turner explained: "I now do much more theatre work than film. I love it more, I like it more. It's more engaging to me, it's more compelling, than a film to me which is a little boring.
"You shoot 20 minutes, you sit for half an hour while they change the camera angle, then you shoot another 20 minutes of the same thing you shot before.
"Theatre is so present and you're getting the immediate response from people, they gasp or they laugh or they're quiet, and it's just very alive."
She added that the casting of her co-stars often helped to tip the balance if when it came to making a decision about film roles.
"The script is always number one, but I think second to that would be the people because you know, I decided I'm too old to work with idiots any more, so it's got to be people I want to be with," Turner said.
:: Bakersfield Mist is at the Duchess Theatre in London from May 27.