Sir Steve McQueen has said that his younger self would not be impressed by his knighthood.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, 50, told the Big Issue that while it is “great” to receive the honour “it doesn’t mean anything unless you can actually use it”.

The 12 Years A Slave director was given a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list for services to film.

Sir Steve McQueen
Sir Steve is an Oscar-winning director (Ian West/PA)

Sir Steve told the magazine: “My younger self wouldn’t give a damn about my knighthood.

“‘What is he doing with it?’ That is what he would ask.

“The country I come from gave me this high award – and that’s great.

“But it doesn’t mean anything unless you can actually use it.”

He added that he doesn’t admire his younger self “for following his path”.

Widows Special Screening – London
Sir Steve was knighted for services to film (Ian West/PA)

“I just think of the other people that could have gone on a similar path but didn’t,” he said.

“I was an exception because of hard-headedness and luck.

“Or hard-headedness and talent. My hard-headedness and a certain innate talent to draw made that luck.”

He also claimed that 12 Years A Slave “opened a lot of doors for other filmmakers”.

“Certain movies would not have been made without it – and I know that for a fact because the producers told me.

“So it was a real catalyst moment for filmmaking.

“It was me being headstrong again. Everyone was telling me no and I didn’t take any notice, just like before.”

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is available now.