03/16/2012 03:31 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2012

Tara Reid Says Her Partying 'Wasn't That Bad' (VIDEO)

It's been more than a decade since actress Tara Reid became a household name, both for her role in "American Pie" and for her hard-partying ways.

In a 1999 Rolling Stone article, Reid unabashedly admitted, "I feel so much, I have so much going on inside me. I can't handle it sometimes. When I go out to drink, I really drink. I black out sometimes. I don't know how I manage my life when I black out but I still function and just keep going."

The 36-year-old returns to the big screen next month with "American Reunion," and she sat down with "Access Hollywood," claiming she's changed and revealed what she's learned over the years.

“It’s really important how you keep things private,” she said, when asked how she would handle things differently. "You wanna try to have a good time and keep it at home ... especially today with the paparazzi. Try to control it as much as you can."

Though there is plenty of evidence that Reid's partying tanked her career, she doesn't seem to think it was really a problem.

"It was my fault, I did it ... [but] it wasn't that bad what I did," she explained. "At the end of the day, I really [just] had fun. I wasn't doing crimes. I wasn't getting in trouble like that."

Crimes may not have been committed, but the actress' definition of "not that bad" is up for debate. In December 2008 she checked into rehab at Promises Treatment Center and later told In Touch magazine that going to rehab was the greatest decision she ever made.

"The hardest thing was walking though the door the first time -- finally admitting that I had a problem," she said. "I had been in such denial. Rehab saved my life."

Reid's newfound sobriety didn't last long. In July 2010, the actress was spotted at a wild party in St. Tropez looking very intoxicated and disheveled.

Reid's reputation as a party girl certainly didn't help her career. "American Reunion" is her first film to get a wide theatrical release since 2005's "Alone in the Dark," which scored an embarrassing 1 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the "The Crow: Wicked Prayer," which was similarly panned, receiving a zero.

It's these reasons that have Reid reportedly receiving only $250,000 for her role in "American Reunion," while returning cast members Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott will each make $5 million.

Today, Reid looks better than she has in years, but it's not clear if she's given up on partying.

“I like to have a good time, who doesn’t? I just learned to be more discreet," she explained to "Access Hollywood." “Who you keep around and what you do is very important.”

Check out the entire cast of "American Reunion" then and now: