Michelle Pfeiffer Becomes The Latest Star To Openly Discuss Her Mental Illness

Between 2013 and 2017, Michelle Pfeiffer was missing in action, leaving fans to wonder if she had quietly retired from acting. In fact, the break was a needed diversion, allowing her to refocus on her personal happiness and health. As Ms. Pfeiffer returns to acting this year with a number of films, most recently Murder on the Orient Express, the actress reveals that her physical health isn’t the only part of her sense of self that has needed tending through the years.

Murder on the Orient Express Star Michelle Pfeiffer Suffers from Social Anxiety

Proving that not every celebrity is a “people person,” Michelle Pfeiffer told Net-a-Porter’s The Edit that she’s always been more comfortable alone. She’s not the only one to prefer solitude to gatherings of peers, but it is a surprising revelation to come from someone so successful and admired. Still, Michelle admits that she relishes in being alone, rarely feeling lonely at all.

“I need to have my own private time and space to gather myself,” confessed Ms. Pfeiffer. “I can sit for hours just doing nothing, by myself.”

Michelle’s social anxiety is worse when she’s surrounded by strangers. The Murder on the Orient Express actress says she feels uncomfortable, like she’s constantly being interviewed, regardless of the social setting. She adds that socializing with new people can be exhaustive.

Fame Did Not Sit Well With Michelle Pfeiffer

Ms. Pfeiffer began her acting career with a recurring role in 1979’s Delta House television series, but her star didn’t really rise until she starred as Elvira Hancock in the 1982 film Scarface. Entertainment Tonight reports that the sudden rise to fame left Michelle feeling unsettled, but the actress soon learned how to handle it. She compares the experience to being “a little shark,” moving through social settings like a shark swims through the ocean.

Even though it was frightening in the beginning, Pfeiffer admits she’s gotten through it all. Even dealing with social gatherings has gotten a little easier, even though the actress still experiences some anxiety. At 59 years old, Ms. Pfeiffer finds the experiences of stardom more manageable.

Even though she no longer feels intimidated by her anxiety out in public, there is one thing that has never gotten better. Michelle revealed that she still feels awkward when it comes to watching herself on screen.

“I look back at everything and wish I’d done it differently,” Pfeiffer says. “If I’m scrolling the television and [a film I’m in] is on the guide, I can’t get by it quick enough.”

Murder on the Orient Express, starring Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, and Michelle Pfeiffer, rolls into theaters on November 10.

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]