Minnie Driver has a confession to make: Years before making it big as an actress, the brunette Brit battled a life-threatening, bizarre ailment known as quinsy.

Driver was just 18 years old and still living at home when she developed quinsy, a very serious form of strep throat that can choke its victims through infected, inflamed, open sores along the throat. Driver, whose parents were away when she developed the ailment, didn't think much of the symptoms at first and tried to treat the condition on her own.

"I stayed in bed and eventually I couldn't get out of bed," she tells TV Guide Online. "I went into the hospital and I had to get on a drip of antibiotics. I was really dehydrated and I didn't have anything left to fight the infection. It is pretty scary."

The actress, who describes the ailment as a "kind of medieval disease," says she had no idea at the time that she was in such a danger. "You never think anything is really wrong with you," she says. "You think, 'I'll just stay in bed like my mom told me to do and I'll be fine.' "

Driver, who's now completely recovered and starring opposite David Duchovny in Return to Me, has another confession to make ? she's haunted by thoughts of an as-yet-unreleased movie, Slow Burn, that she made in 1998 with co-stars James Brolin and real-life boyfriend Josh Brolin.

"It's a truly dreadful film that I hope will never see the light of day," says Driver. "You'll see it in a bargain bucket in some video store in Covina [CA] one day, and you'll go, `Oh look, I never knew she made that movie. Wow.' "