Credit: Jim Spellman/

For more than half her life, Michelle Pfeiffer "struggled with my own image as a sexual person."

Speaking to The Sun, the 53-year-old Dark Shadows actress says that it wasn't until she shot The Fabulous Baker Boys in 1989 -- "by which time I was 31" -- that she felt confident in her own skin.

"Even two years before that, I would not have been able to play the part of the sexually appealing Susie Diamond. She was dynamic and unapologetic and I was able to put on those clothes and play the part," Pfeiffer explains. "I think, because of the way I looked, I had stayed away from buying anything sexy or overtly sexual."

"It was a turning point for me, because I could understand why men would find her sexy," Pfeiffer says. "I wish I'd been more like her. Before that, I would walk around looking like a bag lady!"

Pfeiffer also reveals that the "biggest turning point in my life" was becoming a mother to Claudia Rose, 18, and John Henry, 17, with TV producer husband David E. Kelley, 55. "If you had told me when I was 18 that I could survive on three hours' sleep a night, I'd have never believed it," Pfeiffer admits. "You just cope."

The actress adds that she doesn't want her children to follow in her famous footsteps. "I would say: 'Be a doctor or something else'. The value of a good education has never left me. . .When I became a mother, I realized I had not taken enough advantage of my education and came to appreciate how important it really is."