The 62-year-old actress has two children - Claudia, 28, and John, 26 - with her husband David E. Kelley, and has said she found herself being offered less roles after her children were born, because Hollywood found it too "challenging" to work around her schedule.
She said: "Before the kids were born, my work was my life - and it was in a good way. When they were small, I could just pack them up and bring them with me.
"But then it became, 'Okay, how long will this separate the family unit?' When they got into school it became even more complicated, because I didn't want to just take them out of their routine, so I would shoot in the summer and tried to not be away for more than two or three weeks at a time.
"It became challenging for people to hire me because it was too complicated. It was easier to get somebody else to do the part."
Michelle eventually took a five-year break from Hollywood between 2012 and 2017, and has said she chose to return to the spotlight because she has reached an age where "the parts are getting more interesting again".
She added: "I realised my daughter was looking at colleges, and I saw the writing on the wall. I thought, 'This is going to hit me really hard. It's time for me to get back into moviemaking.' Your seat is never saved in this industry. It's very competitive.
"There's that transition time when you're not the ingenue and you're not really old enough to be the grandmother - you're not old enough to play Frances.
"I'm at an age when the parts are getting more interesting again for me. I guess the timing of it really worked out, because I don't feel I missed out on much."
And even though she's now made a return to filmmaking, she won't be watching any of her performances because they often make her "cringe".
Speaking to Town & Country magazine, she said: "Some of the performances I have felt the best about are ones for which I've gotten panned. The ones that make me cringe are typically when I got the best reviews. I saw Scarface and I went, 'Eh, I'm okay.' I rarely like my work. I only look at films once. It's just too painful."