After starring in four movies last year and her turn in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, it’s fair to say that Michelle Pfeiffer is back on the screen in a big way. “I’m enjoying acting now more than I ever have,” admits the star, who turned 60 on April 29. “I really need to feel like I’m creating something and that my life has meaning.”

For an actress who’s known for her beauty, you might think reaching that milestone birthday would cause some worry, but Michelle “is totally at peace with the number,” a friend of hers tells Closer. “What she talks about often is the wisdom, the confidence, the lack of anxiety that comes with being more sure of who you are. She loves that.”

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Michelle in Scarface.

She doesn’t love “the wrinkles or the physical problems that come with age,” her friend admits, but she has embraced a new level of self-acceptance. “Her lesson is to always be self-accepting and know that she is good enough.” It’s hard to believe that Michelle, a three-time Oscar nominee who rose to fame as the coked-up moll to Al Pacino’s crime lord in Scarface, has long struggled with insecurity. But she reveals, “I have [had] this constant fear that I’m a fraud. I didn’t come from Juilliard. I was just getting by and learning in front of the world.”

Of course, the world was dazzled. So she was missed when she stepped back to raise her children, Claudia, 25, and John, 23, with her producer husband David E. Kelley. Still, Michelle preferred to avoid the spotlight and focus on her kids. “I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away,” she said of being a working mom. But now that she’s an empty-nester, she’s proud of “her emotional journey,” her friend adds.

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Michelle and her family.

And it prepared her to get back to work. “I just realized that I’m not done,” Michelle says. “I have a lot more to do, and a lot more to say. I’m never going to be one who retires.”

For more on Michelle, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!