The 59-year-old actress discussed her comeback on Thursday's episode of "Today" ahead of her films "Murder on the Orient Express," which opens Friday, and "Ant-Man and the Wasp," which debuts in July 2018.
"You know, I wish I could really take credit for making this big sort of sacrifice, but it sort of just evolved. I guess my priorities maybe shifted," she explained of her retreat from the spotlight.
Pfeiffer, who shares 24-year-old daughter Claudia Rose and 23-year-old son John Henry with husband David E. Kelley, said she stepped back in part to focus on her family.
"We moved out of Los Angeles," the actress recalled.
"The older the kids got, it became more and more difficult to say 'yes.' I became pickier and pickier: 'Well, where does it shoot? When does it shoot? How long will I be away?'"
"At some point, I became unhireable. That was really the real reason why I hadn't worked," she confessed. "Time just went and kind of flew by."
Pfeiffer shared similar sentiments in the April issue of Interview, explaining her now-empty nest and enduring love for acting prompted her to return to film.
"I've never lost my love for acting. I feel really at home on the movie set. I'm a more balanced person honestly when I'm working," she said. "I'm more open now, my frame of mind, because I really want to work now, because I can."
Copyright 2017 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.