Lupita Nyong'o was told to give Ralph Fiennes "his space" when she worked as a production assistant.
The 'Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens' actress offered to work for free on 2005 movie 'The Constant Gardner' and admitted she had a lot to learn when doing the job.
One of her jobs included escorting the 52-year-old actor from his trailer to the shoot and though he was very "polite" to her, he quickly tired of her "chitchat" on the brief journey.
She recalled: "Ralph is a very still man on set. It would be very quiet, and that made me uncomfortable.
"I'd try to make chitchat, asking, 'What's your favourite film? Of all the films you've been in, which have you enjoyed the most?' He was so polite, and he responded to me.
"At one point, though, he just said, 'Lupita, give me my space.' "
On another occasion, the first assistant director gave her a message for Ralph, who had just completed a take, but her efficiency in trying to deliver the note landed her in trouble.
She told United Hemispheres magazine: "I was on a mission to talk to Ralph, but he was talking to some man. I went up to them, and suddenly the assistant director was white in the face with rage. He said, 'You never interrupt the director!' I didn't even know who the director was!"
Now, with her own movie successes behind her, the 32-year-old actress has grown to understand Ralph's request for "space".
She said: "When an actor lands on a set, there's a psychological and emotional transformation that needs to happen.
"I learned from that experience what an actor needs--and to ask for it. You have to calibrate yourself. The time before a camera rolls, the moments before my foot steps on a stage, have to be meditative. I have to withdraw from the world as I know it. It's about listening quietly to my inner motor."