Celebrity

Drew Barrymore, Then and Now: Comparing Her Memoirs

In which we take a deep dive into the life of Drew, in her own words, 26 years apart

drew barrymore

(Photo: David Khinda)

In her three-plus decades in Hollywood, we’ve gotten to know a lot of different Drew Barrymores. Cherubic child star. Eighties tabloid train wreck. Nineties wild child. Early-aughts romcom charmer. And then there’s present-day Drew, raising two girls with hubby Will Kopelman, running her Flower Beauty company, and now releasing Wildflower (Dutton, $35), an oft-fun, sometimes heart-rending collection of personal stories (yes, the Letterman incident is there). But this isn’t her first look back: Barrymore’s the rare human who, at the age of 40, has two memoirs to her name. We returned to her first book, Little Girl Lost, written when she was just a teen (with Todd Gold), to see how our gal has grown. A lot’s changed from 14 to 40, but one thing’s constant: Drew’s ever the uncensored hippie girl—wise beyond her years—we’ve always known and loved.

drew barrymore

Who else had a well-thumbed copy of this under their bed?

On love
“His name was Brecken and we’d been friends for about a year, since third grade. I thought he was pretty cute, my type. Nothing happened between us for a long time. We definitely liked each other, but I think we were embarrassed to admit it was anything more than just friendship.”

On being alone
“Why did I want to act? How did I know so early? The answer, I suppose, has always been pretty obvious—at least it has been to me. I loved being part of the group. Actually I didn’t just love it, I needed it. That’s what drove me to club hopping later on…As a little kid, I was the girl who didn’t think anyone loved her, which only inspired me to try to be accepted even more.”

On her Mom
“Before rehab, the lines of our relationship were fuzzy. When I was little, my mother worked night and day so that she could afford to give me whatever I wanted. Left with a babysitter most of the time, I felt abandoned. Later, as my career heated up, she quit her job and became my manager. That just confused everything even more.”

drew barrymore

Drew’s latest tome, Wildflower, (Dutton, $35)

On love
“I felt like men thought we didn’t want to be pursued anymore—of course, we had come too far, which I appreciate, and I don’t want us to take a step back in time, but I was tired of being the one to make it happen. So when a man asked me for my phone number I almost fell off the chair. I was thrilled at the old-fashioned question and I quickly gave it to him. [Will] waited two days to call, of course.”

On being alone
“It’s ironic that we rush through being single as if it’s some disease or malady to get rid of or overcome. The truth is, most likely, one day you will meet someone and it will be gone. And once it’s gone, it’s really gone! Why does no one tell us how important it is to enjoy being single and being by yourself? That time is defining and amazing and nothing to ‘cure.’”

On her Mom
“I am grateful to this woman for bringing me into this world, and it would crush me to know she was in need anywhere. It is not who I am to harbour any anger for the fact that our life together was so incredibly unorthodox. I want only to say thank you to her, because I love my life and it takes every step to get to where you are, and if you are happy, then God bless the hard times it took you to get there.”

Related:
An Open Letter to Drew Barrymore, Re: Mommyhood
’90s Dream Girl: Winona Ryder’s Best Movie Looks
Toni Collette on Her New BFF Tearjerker With Drew Barrymore

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