Paul Bettany says the death of his brother made him realise life wasn't "exciting and endless".

The 'Broken Lines' actor - who lost his sibling as a teenager - explained the experience made him feel "alienated" from other people his age and aware of "how precarious" life really is.

He said: "My brother had died. I was very merged with my brother. It was a mixture of the loss of someone you love deeply coupled with a time when you're sort of - 16, 17 - narcissistically confident about yourself, thinking life is Eternal, and the fragility of it being revealed was awful.

"Quite apart from my own loss. I loved him so much. The awareness of how precarious our position is. And an alienation of how I felt with other people my age. I felt I was holding a huge secret about what actually happens.

"Up until then life had seemed exciting and endless."

Paul - who raises sons Kai, 14, and Stellan, eight, and daughter Agnes, seven months, with wife Jennifer Connelly - admitted he reached a particularly low point when he had been busking on the streets of London, and he had his guitar confiscated by his landlord for failing to pay his rent.

He added: "There's a 10-year period from 16 to 26 where I'm not very clear on time. I had no thought of the future at all. No plan. I suppose now, when I think back to it, I was in a depressed state. But it didn't feel like depression because I didn't feel much.

"I was living in a bunch of different places. I'd sneak into a boarding house where my sister was staying - she let me sleep on my floor. I slept on a lot of floors. The landlord came up and took my guitar - which was really f***ing stupid because I had no way of earning the rent money.

"My dad came and picked me up and paid off my rent. I went home and then I started working in an old people's home. And then I applied for drama school and got in."