The St Trinian's star spent lengthy periods away from the classroom after making her acting debut aged 11, and went on to star in several movies including 2001's The Mists of Avalon.
Her success sparked jealousy among her school pals and she became the victim of bullies - but the experience made her toughen up.
She says, "I think going away to do jobs pulled me apart from the group, sectioned me off and made me different. When I went back to school, I wanted to be a kid and play Barbies with my mates. But they didn't want to do that. They wanted to be mean.
"My teeth were knocked out when I was blindfolded and someone smashed me into a pole. But now I'm tough as old boots. I really don't give a monkey's. Bullying is despicable and no one should get away with it. My bullies are all at uni and I'm living my dream."