Jamie Dornan is ''shy''.

The 36-year-old actor - who has daughters Dulcie, four, and two-year-old Elva with pregnant wife Amelia Warner - has opened up more since becoming a father, but still doesn't feel confident, though he's developed ways of getting through uncomfortable situations.

He said: ''I've always been shy, particularly at school. But as you grow up, you open up more, especially when you have kids.

''I still don't think I'm very confident. I'm polite, though, which helps you get through uncomfortable situations because most people respond well to manners.

''Or I'll talk to myself to get psyched up, especially if I have to do any sort of public speaking. Sometimes, I just talk nonsense right up until the event to take my mind off anything that's about to happen.''

The 'Fifty Shades of Grey' star insists it's far easier to be confident on set than in his real life.

He said: ''It's easier to feel confident on set than it is in real life.

''When you're acting, you're hiding behind a character and, even though a film or TV programme will eventually be seen by the masses, in that given moment of filming, it's very intimate.

''It's just you, the other actors and the crew in the dark fringes around you.''

Despite his success, Jamie never takes anything for granted and still relishes even getting auditions.

He told Britain's Marie Claire magazine: ''Auditioning for a role is as much about proving to yourself that you can do it.

''When you get to a place where you're reading for lead roles or being offered them, there's the idea that you need to maintain that.

''It's a sort of challenge and it's exciting.

''I had years where I really struggled to make a living out of being an actor.

''Honestly, that in itself feels like an achievement because it's hard to get consistent work and it's so brutal. I don't take it for granted.''