Vicky McClure says she feels a “responsibility” to be “real and human” onscreen so that people can learn to be comfortable with themselves.
The Line Of Duty star, 38, said there was “so much pressure” in everyday life, made worse by social media.
Bafta nominated McClure is set to start in a new bomb disposal drama Trigger Point, produced by Jed Mercurio, and did not wear make-up the entire time while filming.
“I (also) wore a crop top instead of an actual bra,” she told the Radio Times.
“I didn’t want the character to make a big deal about the way she looks. She is real and human.”
She continued: “I do feel a slight sense of responsibility. There is so much pressure on people, especially via social media.
“I would like to put some kind of message out there, showing people that you don’t really need make-up.
“I think it’s important to strip things back and be comfortable.
“My body isn’t fully toned; people will see the real Vicky … I’m not hiding anything”.
McClure, who has also starred in the 2006 film This Is England and its subsequent follow up series, says she likes playing characters she can “bring authenticity to”.
“I enjoy making characters I can relate to, and which I can bring authenticity to,” she said.
“My favourite way of acting is reacting.
“So playing around with dialogue is important, making sure it’s authentic; if I’m working with writers who are collaborative they will help me feel it is”.
Trigger Point starts on ITV on Sunday, January 23.