Benicio Del Toro says ''gossip and bulls**t'' stunted his career in Hollywood.

The 51-year-old actor - who is considered to be one of the top performers in the business - has claimed that rumours surrounding his alleged drinking caused film studios to overlook him for potential projects.

He explained: ''People in Hollywood can be as gullible as anywhere.

''Just because they're in the world of make-believe, it doesn't mean they don't believe it. The fact is that, after I tried to get a couple of jobs, the feedback I got was that people didn't want to see me because 'We know he's got a drink problem, and we know he's got a drug problem'. And the only reason for that was because they had seen 'Fear and Loathing'. Maybe it was a compliment.''

During his career, del Toro feels like he's been fighting a number of stereotypes.

However, he has looked to Denzel Washington as a source of inspiration.

He told the Guardian newspaper: ''Denzel is one of those actors who has had to deal with all those stereotypes.

''It's an interesting journey. Me being Latino, I've looked at his career [to] see how to navigate and take those stereotypes and flip them upside down.''

The award-winning star has typically featured in quite intense roles during his time in Hollywood.

But del Toro has revealed he's now open to taking on some lighter material.

He reflected: ''I wouldn't mind doing something light, but that's going to be work.

''Those roles don't come to me first usually, but [the films] about guys who are conflicted with things exploding come to me. Why is that? You could say typecasting or because of the shape of my eyes. You could say many things. I don't care. Good stuff is good stuff, I don't care if it's upside down or inside out.''