Drew Barrymore covers the latest issue of New York Magazine, and in the interview, she talked about her daytime show, her therapist firing her, and her issues with her mother, Jaid Barrymore. Get ready for a whole lot of talk about self-love, therapy, radical honesty, ft. rain frolicking, and happy tears. I believe they call it The Drew Barrymore Special™.
The article gets into the slow-burn success of The Drew Barrymore Show, which premiered in September 2020. At first, ratings weren’t great, and execs told Drew she was “too wacky.” Drew admits the show didn’t reach its potential in the first season: “It was a public-access show on premium television.” Then, last summer, during the off-season, something changed. Two of her videos went viral. The first one was Drew frolicking in the rain. The second was Drew discovering a secret window while doing renovations in the apartment she had just bought below hers and bursting into tears:
Part 2 of the renovation and I had some serious discoveries.💡
The success of these videos translated into a huge increase in Drew’s ratings. From an average of 694,000 viewers to 1.2 million. Interviewer E. Alex Jung writes that the show has transformed into a show “by and for” Drew, where she can bring the public along for her “postdivorce, don’t-call-it-sobriety alcohol-abstaining, single-mom journey of healing and self-discovery.” Drew touches a bit on the divorce, drinking, and therapy. She says she thought she’d hit rock bottom when she was in therapy at age 13, but her 2016 divorce from Will Kopelman was a “new low.” She was drinking to numb the pain, and her therapist, Barry Michels (a practitioner of “the tools”, a mix of Jungian psychiatry and self-help), fired her cuz she was stuck in a rut:
She doesn’t want to elaborate because the fact that there has been no public scandal around the divorce is something she’s proud of. But she stopped drinking for two years, which convinced Michels to take her back. “Then the pandemic happened, and I was like, Thank God I got my shit together,” she says. “Because I am the strongest I’ve ever been. Then we were building the show, and it was hard, challenging, scary, emotional, exhausting, and overwhelming, but I could handle it. Which was so great because the divorce convinced me I couldn’t handle things.”
Drew says her style of interviewing is partly inspired by the group therapy she did in rehab as a teen. Drew wanted interviews “in the round” and to encourage “radical honesty” from her guests. E. Alex Jung points out that her interview style is more life coach than journalist. Unlike other talk show hosts, Drew doesn’t really stick to that preinterview script:
“I’ve done the show three times now, and I’ve never had a conversation that was anywhere near the talking points we came up with in the preinterview,” says Melanie Lynskey, who first met Barrymore right before they started filming Ever After in 1997. On a March episode, Lynskey appears with her husband, Jason Ritter, who, in talking about how they met, warns that it’s “not as cute of a story.” Ritter says that he struggled with alcoholism (to which Barrymore raises her hand and says, “Me too”) and that he didn’t feel worthy of his wife until he stopped drinking. The flash of vulnerability catches you off guard. “There’s nothing in Drew’s eyes that says, ‘Say something that the audience will like,’” says Ritter. “She’s just sitting there with you.”
Then we get into Drew’s relationship with her mother, Jaid. The pair have never fully reconciled since Drew left the house at 14, though Drew still supports her financially. Drew’s touched on her mommy issues during interviews with fellow former child actors Jennette McCurdy and Brooke Shields. During her sit-down with Jennette, who was promoting her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, Drew wondered if she had to “wait to tell all my truths” because “certain people are alive.” She expands on this with New York Magazine:
“All their moms are gone, and my mom’s not,” she says. “And I’m like, Well, I don’t have that luxury. But I cannot wait. I don’t want to live in a state where I wish someone to be gone sooner than they’re meant to be so I can grow. I actually want her to be happy and thrive and be healthy. But I have to fucking grow in spite of her being on this planet.”An hour after the words leave her mouth, she already regrets suggesting any ill will toward her mom. “I dared to say it, and I didn’t feel good,” she says. “I do care. I’ll never not care. I don’t know if I’ve ever known how to fully guard, close off, not feel, build the wall up.”
I don’t care how old you get
Or how big your mission is
When your mom tells you
she loves you
You revert back to smallAnd the fact that she loves
me with my truth
And my honesty
Is the best time I have ever
heard her say it.
Ugh, she’s the cutest. Not to brag, but. one time, an older lady on an airplane told me I looked like Drew. I was thrilled, but it didn’t last long; a half-hour later, I overheard the woman telling her seatmate that she was legally blind from glaucoma and could he please read her the snack menu?
Pic: New York Magazine