“[I] found it very easy to love her, and I still do. I knew her dad, and I know her mom. I’ve watched the four generations of major alcoholic destruction that she comes out of … She’s an extremely talented kid who got dealt a very short hand. Her father was a disaster and never made any attempts to correct it—let’s leave it at that. And to put it very mildly, as politely as I can, I disagree with her mother’s approach to life rather much. I would really hope that Drew keep a distance from her. I will say this: I consider her mother one of the worst influences possible.” —David Crosby on Drew Barrymore
“There’s a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends ’cause I’m too content being by myself.” —Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore may be best known as Dylan Sanders of Charlie’s Angels, but her career has numerous roles coming before and after, with a film career that stretches back to the 1980s. Barrymore began as a child star and had all of the personal problems we typically associate with child stars. She might not be in the news as much as Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence but there is much to learn about Barrymore. Here are 42 rebellious facts about Drew Barrymore.
Barrymore got her start as a child actress—and the child actress who goes on to become a substance abuser is pretty much a tragic cliché at this point. However, it might make for some good reading. Little Girl Lost, Barrymore’s memoir, tells the story of her early years, including having her first cigarette when she was nine and frequenting clubs just a few years later. Barrymore completed the book when she was 14, and also released Wildflower in 2015, a followup that reveals more about her life.
41. Phone Home
Barrymore starred in two TV movies and one film (Altered States) by the time she was five. Her fourth role, in Steven Spielberg’s E.T the Extra Terrestrial, would catapult her to childhood fame. Barrymore, who was seven at the time of release, played Gertie, the protagonist’s little sister. Barrymore also said that Spielberg told her during filming that he would never do a sequel to E.T. Seven and already chatting with the bigwigs.
How do rom coms approach the first meeting? Hands accidentally touching while reaching for something? The introduction at work? Barrymore is more original: she met one of her exes, musician Eric Erlandson, while puking outside of a club, as he stood nearby to stand guard as she did so. Barrymore actually ran into him accidentally two weeks later, knocking on his door because someone else gave her the wrong room number. Finally, Barrymore ran into Erlandson in Seattle while filming Mad Love. Erlandson made a move, asking Barrymore to listen to some records at his place, and they almost immediately began living together.
Barrymore’s own childhood has given her plenty of excitement and grief at times, so she tries to bring happiness with the movies she does. She is attracted to roles that focus on self improvement, optimism, and joy. These three critieria are a big part of what led her to do Charlie’s Angels.
38. Pity the Fool
The average person might be lucky to meet a handful of famous people during their life, quickly grabbing a photo while hundreds of other people jockey for position. Barrymore’s childhood, however, included meeting Mr. T at the 1984 People’s Choice Awards and partying with Rod Stewart’s band in West Germany. Barrymore also met Purple Rain co-star Apollonia, and was gifted a ring the singer wore in the film. The rich get richer.
Sometimes when an actress isn’t in the spotlight as much as they used to be, fans think the worst. Don’t feel too bad for Barrymore, though: her net worth is estimated at around $125 million dollars, and she has a few different homes to retreat to for privacy, including an $8 million one in LA.
36. 10 Year Anniversary
Barrymore’s still got it, in my opinion, but back in 2008 Maxim ranked her #40 on the Hot 100. People also included her on their list of the world’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
After her unconventional upbringing, Barrymore aimed to raise her own children tradtionally, which got off to a good start with her marriage to Will Kopelman and the birth of their two children. However, the couple split after three years of marriage. While having to leave Kopelman was disappointing, Barrymore says they are still on good terms, realizing that her children will internalize the treatment they see their parents giving to one another. More than anything, Barrymore wants her kids to feel “safe” and “know I’ve got them.”
34. Flower Girl
When you start acting as young as Drew Barrymore did, acting gets old pretty quick. By the late 1990s, she and Nancy Juvonen founded the production company Flower Films. The first film they produced was a Barrymore vehicle, Never Been Kissed. The company has since gone on to produce Donnie Darko, 50 First Dates, and Charlie’s Angels.
33. Dog Eat Dog World
There’s an early Barrymore credit you won’t find on IMDb. When Barrymore was 11 months old, her acting family put her in a dog food commercial. An auspicious start to a long career.
32. The Chair
Barrymore directed her first film, Whip It, in 2009, and has since said she prefers directing to acting. Barrymore finds more satisfaction in getting control of how things turn out as opposed to doing her relatively small part as an actor and hoping that everything behind the scenes works out. “Having a hand in it, being part of the process, has given me tremendous satisfaction. I don’t like just showing up,” she says.
31. Camera Shy
Barrymore may not be high on IMDb’s starmeter, but she can still be considered a household name (at least for my generation). However, we likely won’t see Barrymore on screen as much as we did back in the 1990s. Barrymore’s family and other business duties, such as producing, restrict her time, and she has admitted she now has little time or inclination for demanding roles.
Family Guy’s Brian goes through girlfriends like most people go through socks, but one of the standouts is probably Jillian, the attractive blonde with a heart of gold and not much going on upstairs. Since the show has hosted a slew of celebrity talent, ranging from Jessica Biel to Ryan Reynolds, Drew Barrymore might fly under the radar as the voice of Jillian.
29. Toughest Critic
Most actors can be pretty reticent about giving themselves an honest critique or admitting that they pretty much play themselves for most of their roles. However, Barrymore has no problem admitting that only one of her roles led her to truly test herself as an actress: her role as Edith Bouvier Beale in Grey Gardens. Barrymore says her early roles in rom coms like Never Been Kissed allowed her to play her own self. As she got older, roles as a contented mother (e.g. Blended) fit her current personality.
28. Record Breaker
I can’t remember anything notable that I did when I was seven, but Barrymore probably remembers hosting Saturday Night Live. Barrymore is still the youngest person to host the show. Barrymore is also one of the elite club of people to have hosted SNL more than five times.
27. Going with the Guts
I’m no expert, but I’m guessing an actor or actress would normally disagree or fight the decision to change their part from a lead role to the first victim of a horror movie. In Barrymore’s case, she had the lead role for Scream that later went to Neve Campbell. Writer Kevin Williamson knew he wanted the film’s biggest star to die first, so he was thinking of courting Alicia Silverstone for the role of Casey Becker. As Barrymore went over the script again, she realized how much she loved the opening scene and told Williamson that she wanted to play Casey Becker. Barrymore still considers the scene a masterpiece.
26. Smells Like Teen Spirit
Barrymore’s life reads like six degrees of separation, godparent style. Steven Spielberg is her godfather, and Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore were close friends before Courtney and husband Kurt Cobain welcomed their daughter to the world, so Barrymore is now the godmother to Frances Bean Cobain. And get this: Cameron Diaz is also the godmother to Barrymore’s daughter Frankie.
Barrymore’s autobiography, Little Girl Lost, reveals that her first kiss was with fellow actor Breckin Meyer. Meyer may be best known for the series Franklin & Bash, or roles in Clueless and Rat Race. He says the kiss took place when he was about 11 and he was actually rewarded afterwards: Barrymore got him an audition with an agent, thereby creating the foundation for his career.
24. Bright Side
Barrymore isn’t naïve about discrimination in Hollywood, which can restrict the variety of roles women receive. She has joked that hitting her 40s makes her past her prime for the omnipresent role of a love interest. However, Barrymore is thankful that she was able to form her own production company and greenlight successful projects. She produced Never Been Kissed at the age of 23, and Barrymore recalls meeting Fox executives wearing corduroy pants and still getting approval to take on the project.
23. Hallowed Ground
Like most actresses, Barrymore had some missteps. Her work with Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch wasn’t that well received, and the film was a financial disappointment as well. The rom com followed Fallon and Barrymore’s characters’ relationship, which was hindered by Fallon’s devout commitment to the Boston Red Sox. The film was released in 2005, but the year before the Red Sox pulled off a sweep in the World Series to win it. The production of the film synced up with the win in Game 4, allowing Barrymore and Fallon to set foot on the field while the Red Sox celebrated. The Red Sox appear to have forgiven the two since, but at the time plenty in Red Sox Nation thought the two did not deserve to celebrate with the team.
Barrymore has openly admitted that she has had previous relationships with women. While these sorts of relationships are sometimes viewed as publicity stunts, Barrymore explains that she simply views a woman and a woman as being a beautiful coupling, the same way she views a man and a woman as a beautiful coupling.
21. Wish You the Best
At one point, Barrymore was dating Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer for The Strokes. In 2012, Moretti dated a good friend of Barrymore’s, Kristen Wiig. Barrymore said the relationship dynamic “seems so wacky and incestuous, but that’s kind of how life works.” That’s one way to put it. Wiig and Moretti broke up in 2013, which hopefully made things a little less weird.
20. Cheers, Drew
Check out Barrymore Winery next time you’re in the mood for some cabernet sauvignon. Barrymore realized she likes wine, like a lot of people, but, unlike a lot of people, she decided to turn that into a real business. Barrymore’s own tastes are partial to fruity white wines, but the winery offers a wider selection.
19. The Boulevard
Barrymore received her own star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2004, cementing (no pun intended) her status as a member of Hollywood’s A-list. She is now the fifth member of her family to get this honor, joining her dad, her granddad, and two other relatives.
18. No One Puts Batman in a Corner
Back when she was a teenager, Barrymore went on a date with Christian Bale. As Bale revealed, Barrymore never called him back. To be fair, this was the stage in Barrymore’s life where she was dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. As Barrymore says, she “had a lot of fish to fry,” and boys weren’t at the top of her priorities.
17. No Accounting for Taste
If someone asked us to rank Adam Sandler, Hugh Grant, and Jake Gyllenhaal in terms of talent, I think most people would have Adam Sandler at the bottom. Maybe that’s just me. Not Drew, however. During an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Barrymore and John Boyega were engaged in a game of “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts,” where they either have to eat/drink something disgusting or answer a tough question. In Barrymore’s case, she swallowed bird saliva for one question but came clean when asked who she thinks is the least talented of her co-stars. Gyllenhaal got the short end of the stick! Has she seen Nightcrawler?
16. Body Image
Barrymore currently stars in The Santa Clarita Diet and revealed that she sticks to a vegan diet and exercises while filming the show, and then returns to a regular diet when filming ends. Once filming wraps, Barrymore puts on more weight, which led her mom to suggest cold-sculpting (fat freezing). Barrymore embraces her look though. A stranger once asked Barrymore if she was pregnant and Barrymore was quick to respond, “No, I’m just fat right now.”
15. Close Call
Back in 2001, Barrymore was happily dating Tom Green and they were enjoying their home in a canyon north of Beverly Hills. Things took a slight turn for the worse, however, when the home caught fire while they were sleeping. Their dog Flossie likely saved their lives by barking at their door. The fire led to about $700,000 in damage, and the house was ruined.
14. Who needs a GED?
Due to her stay in a mental institution at the age of 13, you might have been able to guess that Barrymore didn’t finish high school.
The film adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter isn’t as popular as It, but Barrymore remembers it well due to her role as Charlie McGee. For any Stranger Things fans, you might find some similarities in the plot about a girl with powers on the run from a clandestine branch of the government.
12. Secretish Admiriers
Punk band Eden Park released a vinyl titled Journey to the Centre of the Skull Mountain back in 2002. This vinyl includes a track called “Barry Loves Drew Barrymore.” The band hasn’t gone on to become a big name since, but that doesn’t change the fact that a band made a song about her.
Barrymore got introduced to the paranormal and sci-fi early, reading Stephen King’s Firestarter at age five and appearing in two King adaptations. She also almost got the child’s role in Poltergeist.
10. The Flash
Back in 1995, Barrymore appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. While being interviewed, she brought up a scene in a film where her character does a striptease. She offered a demonstration, which led to her flashing Letterman (with her back to the camera). Barrymore has returned to the show since and says that she and Letterman developed great chemistry. I bet.
Barrymore posed nude for Playboy when she was only 19 years old. In response, godfather Steven Spielberg sent her a quilt as a gift with the note “cover yourself up.” She’s still daddy’s little girl.
8. What Have You Done Lately?
By the time she reached adulthood, Barrymore already had a long career as a child actress, which is why she received a child star “lifetime achievement” award in 1999.
7. Role Model
Barrymore’s mother, Jaid, was born in a displaced people’s camp for Hungarian World War II refugees. Barrymore believes her mother’s background as someone living in an unregulated environment led to her mom’s style of parenting: Barrymore got her start partying and drinking with her mother and her mother’s friends five times a week.
6. Thanks, Mom?
Barrymore’s early problems with alcoholism and drugs led to a suicide attempt when she was only 13, but the actress was found and taken to the hospital. Afterwards, her mother sent her to a mental institution, where she stayed for a year and a half. Drew says there was no warning of the institutionalization, but she realizes that she likely would have run away if her mother warned her it was coming. Once Drew was released at age 14, she emancipated herself from her mom, legally becoming an adult. Despite this, Barrymore thinks fondly of her mom, even though the two don’t speak that often.
5. Method Actor
Barrymore’s past provides some convenient fodder for getting genuine emotion, as director Wes Craven found out during Scream. Barrymore shared some of her secrets with Craven so that he could make her cry easily during the week-long shoot of her scene in Scream.
Following her suicide attempt and subsequent stay at a mental hospital, Barrymore lived with rock star David Crosby. Crosby and his wife, Jan, had their own experiences with alcohol and drug excess and tried to help ease Barrymore onto the wagon. Crosby also believed Barrymore would break the chain of alcoholism in the family, which saw its most recent victim in Barrymore’s father. Barrymore hasn’t talked much about this experience that much, but did say she would be more “f—- up” if it wasn’t for people like “David and Jan and Steven (Spielberg)”.
3. Call Me by Your Name
Barrymore’s birth name is Drew Blythe Barrymore. However, at least at one point she actually didn’t like to be called Drew. Maybe because it’s a holdover from her dad’s middle name. As Barrymore put it in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1995, no one who cared about her called her Drew. Her preferred names, at least back then, were D or Daisy.
Barrymore came from a family of actors stretching back to the 1800s. Drew’s grandfather John Barrymore and her dad John Drew Barrymore were actors in their own right. John Barrymore was a Shakespearean actor who had drank himself to death at 60. Drew’s father John Drew Barrymore starred in movies such as The Sundowners and While the City Sleeps, experiencing his own run-ins with alcohol, drugs, and physical abuse. He passed away in 2004. Despite John’s status as an estranged father, Drew still referred to him as “cool cat” in a statement released by her publicist upon his death.
1. Best Thing That Never Happened
Despite childhood success, Barrymore’s substance abuse issues and emancipation from her mother led to a period where she struggled financially. She ended up working at a coffee shop where the owner told her she was a “bad employee.” Shortly after, Barrymore landed a role in Poison Ivy. The film didn’t se the world ablaze, but it helped nab other roles for the adult Barrymore, and we now know where that led.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38