Mark Rylance thinks Hollywood has become a ''sink or swim'' environment.

The 55-year-old actor, who's enjoyed success on the stage and the silver screen, admits the film industry has evolved so that there's less scope for performers to make mistakes.

Speaking at the world premiere of his new movie 'The Gunman' - in which he stars alongside Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone - Rylance disputed the suggestion that experience on the stage is important for movie stars.

He told BANG Showbiz: ''I think some very great film actors didn't do any theatre work. I don't think Robert Mitchum ever acted in the theatre. I don't think that Sean's done a lot of theatre, so I don't think that's necessarily true. I think people have a rather elevated opinion of theatre actors.

''If you are a theatre actor, it's obviously a lot cheaper and you can get a lot more experience, doing lots of parts in different things.

''It depends very much on how you approach your work and whether you keep your eyes and ears attuned to your natural behaviour or not. But I think it's undoubtedly true that you can get a lot more experience in theatre, be involved in a lot more things and learn. You can make mistakes without so much pressure, that's nice.''

Rylance admitted Hollywood films are more high pressured, because of the vast sums of money involved in the movie industry.

He explained: ''The days of Hollywood when they were making 200 or 300 films a year in someone like Mitchum's day, you could get a lot of experience.

''Now it's more pressured and even when you're on set, it's pretty high pressure. You don't have so much time to practice, especially with rehearsals and a long run for a year, you have to sink or swim.''