Actors Alfred Molina and Rory Kinnear are backing a campaign to rescue drama programs in U.K. schools.

The stars are supporting a new initiative launched by Britain's National Independent Schools' Drama Association (Nisda) which aims to save acting classes at state-funded schools from being slashed in budget cuts.

Spider-Man 2 star Molina fears such curriculum changes would lead to the performing arts being dominated by the wealthy elite.

He says, "It is a real concern. When I came into acting in the 1970s we were the beneficiaries of the revolution in the 1950s when actors like Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney arrived with their regional accents. Working-class actors became very trendy. Now we seem to be returning to the idea that only posh kids are going to be able to study drama and become actors. That's unfair."

Meanwhile, Kinnear credits his own drama classes with helping him cope with his father's death when he was just a 10-year-old boy.

He explains, "(Acting was) more useful than anything in understanding and coming to terms with the loss of my father. Drama aids self-discovery like nothing else. In removing it from our schools we remove the inestimable benefits of it from our society. No amount of studying oxbow lakes was ever going to help me emotionally through the death of my father."