"I think it comes from not having a background of formal training, you know, in the beginning," Pfeiffer explained. "And I think when I started out, a lot of actors were coming out of Juilliard and I was just this young person from Orange County, kind of just getting by on my instincts purely and I think, for the longest time, I felt like it wasn't really enough and maybe didn't give me the credibility and maybe because I had to find my technique as I went along. That I didn't sort of start from a real secure place."
'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Trailer No. 2: Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer Face Off!
However, when asked if she felt the same way about her role in the new Maleficent sequel, the 61-year-old actress offered insight on how she approached her part.
"I had a blast on this, though," she offered. "I'm pretty confident with the villains now. I know where to go for that."
The new film rejoins Maleficent (Jolie) and Princess Aurora (Fanning) after the events of the 2014 film. Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) proposes to the princess, and his mother, Queen Ingrith (Pfeiffer), intends to use their matrimony to drive a wedge between humans and fairies forever. This leaves the titular anti-hero at odds with Aurora.
"When we met at 14, you were young but you were always impressive," Jolie told Fanning. "I'm very proud. She always held herself so well and she always had such grace and she's such a strong actor that you never seemed like a child."
"You've also maintained -- which I think is almost unheard of in this business -- such sweetness and gratitude for the job and for every minute and for everybody," Jolie added with a smile.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil arrives in theaters on Oct. 18.