SHARECOMMENTMORE

Olivia Barker
USA Today

It sounds like a diet only The Onion could cook up: No food, no water - just pure, wholesome sunlight.

But a very young (and clearly, naive) Michelle Pfeiffer drank it in during her early, especially vulnerable days in La-La Land.

Pfeiffer was a breatharian, somebody who believes all you need is sunlight to survive, she tells The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine. Soon after landing in Hollywood at age 20, Pfeiffer, now 55, came under the spell of a couple who put her on a sustenance plan "nobody can adhere to."

"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," Pfeiffer says.

"They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian."

Her first husband, actor Peter Horton, helped wrest her away. He was doing research for a role in a movie about followers of the Unification Church. "We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation, and I just clicked." She realized, "I was in one" - a "cult."