(CBS NEWS) – Michelle Pfeiffer says she fell under the influence of a “cult” when she was starting out in Hollywood.
The 55-year-old Northern California resident/actress made the revelation in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine. Pfeiffer explained that she fell in with a “very controlling” couple after moving to Los Angeles when she was 20.
The “kind of personal trainers” believed in breatharianism — that people can live without food or water, with only sunlight for nourishment — and put her on a diet that “nobody could adhere to,” she said.
“They worked with weights and put people on diets. Their thing was vegetarianism,” she told the magazine while promoting her “The Family.” “They were very controlling. I wasn’t living with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining.”
“They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian,” she added.
It wasn’t until she met her first husband, actor Peter Horton, that she realized what was happening. According to the Telegraph, Horton had been cast in a film about the Moonies, the name given to followers of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. While helping Horton with research “on this cult,” Pfeiffer said, she realized, “I was in one.”
“We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked,” she said in the interview.
Pfeiffer’s “The Family,” also starring Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones, came out in U.S. theaters in September. It opens in the U.K. on Nov. 22.
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