Sigourney Weaver changed her name from Susan because she was ''too tall'' for the moniker.
The actress decided to swap her name when she was a teenager because she thought it better suited the way she looked.
She told The Sun newspaper: ''I was about six feet tall and called Susie or Sue.
''Even at 11, I was being shunned by normal-sized children. It led to me changing my name from Susan to Sigourney at 13.
''I felt too tall to have a short name like that and saw 'Sigourney' in F Scott Fitzgerald's book 'The Great Gatsby'.''
Sigourney, now 62, admits her stature and unusual looks led to her suffering from a lack of confidence when she was a teenager and at the start of her acting career.
She added: ''I wish I'd had more confidence at 18 - but that lack of confidence lasted until well after that. I was just downright shy.
''I do so wish I could have handled criticism better. I was constantly judged as 'too tall' or 'too zany'. I did feel awkward and gawky.
''Even now, I realise that I am not charming enough on screen to sustain an audience for two hours, without a good script to carry me.''
Sigourney's own daughter Charlotte, 22, is very different to her and does not suffer from the same confidence issues the 'Ghostbusters' star did when she was younger.
Sigourney explained: ''When I looked at my own daughter, at 18, it was wonderful to see all the options she had.
''She had just voted for the first time, was starting university, was studying philosophy and playing drums and electric ukulele in a band. Her view of the world was much wider than my own at that age.''