By LEE HERNANDEZ
09/04/2013 at 10:45 AM EDT
It’s been more than 20 years since Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the sexy whip-carrying Catwoman on the big screen, but PEOPLE’s two-time World’s Most Beautiful Woman still looks puuuurfect at 55!
"Once you get over a certain hump there actually is less pressure. You can begin to look great for your age. You don’t have to look young anymore," the actress tells Ladies Home Journal in the October issue.
"I’ve moved over to that other side – I’m 55, which is a little too close to 60, but looking great for my age is okay now," she says.
Pfeiffer – who has been a vegan for a few years now – makes sure to work out five days a week and admits she lives a much healthier life than she did when she was younger.
"I haven’t always been healthy. When I was in my 20s I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day," she says, adding, "I lived on Marlboro Lights and Coca-Cola."
Still, the actress admits getting older is no walk in the park.
"Having to watch yourself age on a giant movie screen is simply not natural. It can wreak havoc on your psyche," she says.
Nine years ago, Pfeiffer took a break from Hollywood. She and her husband, TV writer-producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) packed up their home and moved with their two children, Claudia Rose and John, to San Francisco.
"I started putting caveats on everything – like I’ll do a movie only at a certain time of year, or in a certain location – and I negotiated myself out of work," she tells the magazine.
"If I was going to do something that took me away from my kids, it had to matter.”
Now that both of her kids are in college, Pfeiffer returns to the big screen this month opposite Robert De Niro in The Family a black comedy about a Brooklyn mobster who enters a witness-protection program.
And despite her looks and status as a Hollywood A-lister, the Oscar-nominated actress admits even she feels vulnerable from time to time.
"I still think I’m going to be fired in the first week of every new job I take,” she says. “Always. In fact, before I even start a movie I’ll try to get myself fired or think of a reason I should quit. I guess it’s fear of failure."