Tina Fey attends the "Sisters" premiere on Dec. 8, 2015 in New York City.
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December 19, 2015 9:41 AM EST

Actress and Mean Girlsscreenwriter Tina Fey was the Regina George in high school. Which begs the question, did art imitate life?

The Sisters star reveals she was the alpha Plastic during her pre-fame days telling Net-a-Porter’sThe Edit, “I was [the Mean Girl], I admit it openly.”

And decades later, Fey, 45, reflects on what drove her to bully. “That was a disease that had to be conquered,” she says adding, “It’s another coping mechanism – it’s a bad coping mechanism – but when you feel less than (in high school, everyone feels less than everyone else for different reasons), in your mind it’s a way of leveling the playing field. Though of course it’s not.”

She further confessed that her desire to be funny was a coping mechanism. “For me it was about hitting age 13 and realizing, ‘OK, I’m not going to glide by on looks. I’m a normal-looking person, but that’s not going to be where my bread is buttered.'”

The Saturday Night Live alum calls her mean girl past a lesson learned in that “saying something terrible about someone else does not actually level the playing field.”

Now as a mother to two young daughters, Fey even jokes: “If I meet a girl of 14 or 15 today who is that kind of girl, I am secretly, in my body, afraid. Even though I’m 45.”

Funny enough for her latest role in Sisters, the seven-time Emmy winner relives a bit of her high school years. Reteaming with real-life BFF Amy Poehler, the pair play siblings who throw a wild party at their childhood home.

This article originally appeared on People.com

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