Bonnie Langford has said young actors want “everything to be perfect” but that the only route to success is “bottle and determination”.
The actress, who played Carmel Kazemi in EastEnders, also starred as Dorothy Brock in the acclaimed West End revival of 42nd Street, until the show closed in January.
She appears in a recording of the production, which is coming to cinemas from November 10.
Langford, 55, told the PA news agency that many young actors she sees are “coming up brilliantly” but feel they can only work when they “feel good”.
She urged the next generation to toughen up, saying stage-craft was about how you “cope” with things when they are “not up to standard”.
The former child star told PA: “We all have big lessons to learn and it’s really how we come out the other side of them.
“It’s how you cope when it’s not going well.
“This is the thing, so many young people that I see nowadays as well, fantastic, they are coming up brilliantly.
“But they want everything to be perfect and they can only do a show if they feel good and all that.
“You never feel good. You never feel 100%. You are always having to work around however you are that day.
“You might have an eyelash falling out, whatever. It doesn’t matter. How do you cope? Because it’s never going to actually be that perfect thing at that time.
“It’s how you cope when the circumstances are the way they really will be, which is when they are not up to standard or you are not feeling brilliant.”
The former Dancing On Ice contestant is currently starring in the musical version of Dolly Parton’s film 9 To 5 at London’s Savoy Theatre.
She added: “If something comes very quickly then it probably goes very quickly too. That’s the harsh lesson. It’s a very harsh world. It’s a very throwaway world now.
“To keep going really does take bottle and determination. And just persistence, just plodding on. It’s a real tortoise and hare situation these days.
“I think it probably always has been but it seems faster and more inflated these days.
“That’s tough if you don’t have anything behind it to keep it going.”
42nd Street opens in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from November 10.