Charlotte Gainsburg feels happiest when she's shooting violent movie scenes.

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg

The 'Nymphomaniac' actress likes to feel "uncomfortable" because it makes her forget her own shortcomings and she feels "alive" when she's doing something that makes her suffer.

She said: "I like being pushed. I like effort. I like being uncomfortable.

"Because I'm not a performer in the sense that I have a loud voice or a real instrument, it's not enough of an effort. I have to find a way, but whatever I do, it has to cost me real effort.

3Each time I've done a violent scene in a film, that was the most happy. Because it was a moment where I forgot everything, where my unconfidence and uneasiness... I didn't think about it, the action was stronger.

"Then, working with Lars (Von Trier, director), he took me to places where it was exactly that. The emotions were stronger than my own persona.

"I didn't have time to judge myself and being in those rough places was a discovery. And I loved the suffering. There's a bit of masochism but I feel alive."

The 46-year-old star is also a musician but she doesn't feel comfortable performing on stage, though she hopes that will change.

She told Britain's ELLE magazine: "I believe I will enjoy it eventually. But it's not as easy as performing a role, I don't feel natural.

"It's because I'm only myself and for me that is not enough.

"I'd love to not care, to be able to do my own thing and to tell myself that if people come to see me it's because they know who I am and what to expect."