Kate Beckinsale says motherhood meant she ''never had a plan'' when it came to her career.

The 45-year-old actress fell pregnant with Lily, her daughter with her former partner Michael Sheen, when she was 26, and admits that her career choices became ''quite schizophrenic'' but now her 19-year-old girl has gone off to college she's looking forward to working more and finding her ''sensibility''.

She said: ''I've never had a plan but not having a plan has meant that I've had this quite schizophrenic career where I could do various low-budget things and then I'll suddenly do an action thing, and then I'll do something like 'The Widow'.

''So it's interesting, now that my daughter is a bit older, I want to find out what my sensibility is.''

Kate admitted she held off taking a lot of jobs when Lily was younger because she didn't want to travel too ''far away'' because she wanted to be at home to care for her.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine, she said: ''When I was younger, I got a bit blindsided by suddenly finding myself pregnant and having to be a mum.

''I've been saying for years, 'When my daughter goes to college, then I'm going to be able to go off and do jobs that are far away.' ''

And not long after Lily left home, the actress received a call offering her a role in TV show 'The Widow', which was to be filmed in South Africa.

Though the star was a ''bit scared'' of accepting the job, she decided to take a ''leap of faith''.

She said: ''They said, 'Do you want to go to South Africa for six months and do 'The Widow'?

''It felt like, 'OK, it came around a little bit sooner than I was anticipating... it's a bit of a leap of faith and I'm a bit scared and I don't really want to, but... OK.' ''