In a refreshingly honest interview, Drew Barrymore opens up to GLAMOUR about feminism, ageing naturally and her amazing beauty brand, Flower Beauty.
Drew Barrymore, the woman who stole my heart aged seven, as I sat on my dad’s knee in the cinema watching E.T., walks into her hotel room and gives me a big hug. She’s wearing a green silk Zara kimono jacket and a vintage Mickey Mouse T-shirt. I am slightly taken aback by her normality. Seeing an icon in the flesh, one whom I’ve girl-crushed on since childhood, is surreal. She should, given her Hollywood pedigree, be giving Mariah a run for her money in the diva stakes.
But there are no demands, no entourage. And no sanitised, PRd-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives soundbites. She’s in the UK to promote her beauty brand, Flower Beauty. In fact, five minutes in, and we’re talking heroin and plastic surgery.
“I have an extremely addictive personality,” says Drew, openly. “I’ve never done heroin,” she comments, referring to her misspent youth, “and I don’t want to get plastic surgery because I feel like they’re both very slippery slopes. I feel if I try either, I’m going to be dead really soon.”
It’s why she feels very strongly about ageing naturally. “Not messing with my face or chasing some unnatural beauty is a standard I live by. I have dark circles under my eyes. I was at my dermatologist’s recently who said to me, ‘Can I shoot some Juvederm up there? It will raise the skin and it won’t be so sunken, which is causing the darkness to look worse, because it’s lower than the natural light that is hitting it.’ And I went: ‘No, but I’m gonna go home and start highlighting under my eyes, so thank you for the tip!”
It’s this refreshing, no-BS approach that has led to her to becoming a genuine, modern role model, appealing to women of all ages. Often, when actresses say they don’t have plastic surgery, what they really mean is they don’t go ‘under the knife’ – but that excludes injectables. I look more closely at Drew’s face and I can assure you it’s as real as her attitude. Her under-eyes and forehead have the natural fine lines you’d expect of a 43-year-old mother of two. Everything moves and she is beautiful. It’s unusual for a Hollywood star of her status to be so, well, au natural.
“It shouldn’t be,” she says, shaking her head. “We’ve gone far too far with the whole thing, especially when people who are so young are doing it.” She’s always felt this way, more so now she’s a mother.
“I feel ageing is a privilege. It’s about how to do it gracefully, with humour, self-love and a respect for the process, and that’s always been really important to me. Then I started having girls and I thought, thank god these were my initial instincts. Now I can carry them out in an even more deep and profound way.”
Instead of surgery, she swears by a ‘Clear + Brilliant’ laser treatment with NYC-based dermatologist Dr Roy G. Geronemus.
“He’s the best,” she assures me. “[The treatment] just schluffs the barnacles of brown and sun damage off your face. It’s the greatest thing ever. It’s non-invasive and there’s no downtime. It’s like microdermabrasion laser, but it always makes me feel so much more attractive.”
If she sounds like the most balanced person you’ve ever met, by her own admission, it hasn’t always been that way. Born in Los Angeles into an acting dynasty on her father’s side, she was put to work in a dog food commercial aged 11 months. She was a film star by seven – pouring Baileys over her ice-cream – and her mother reportedly first took her clubbing to Studio 54 when she was nine. Sadly, around the same time, Drew developed a drink and drug habit.
Professionally, she was judged harshly, with no big roles coming her way. But she never gave up, rising from the ashes to become a successful, Golden Globe- and SAG-award-winning actress and producer, star of Never Been Kissed, 50 First Dates, The Wedding Singer, Scream, Charlie’s Angels Grey Gardens and more recently Netflix show, Santa Clarita Diet. On a personal level, motherhood seems to have given her a sense of belonging – she is a single mum to her two girls Olive, six and Frankie, four, from her third marriage to Will Kopelman, which ended in 2016.
Now, she has another string to her bow: beauty boss – in 2013 she launched her cruelty free cosmetics brand Flower Beauty, which is now available in the UK. It closes the gap between mass and prestige and everything is priced under £13. What inspired her to go down the ethical route?
“I was vegan and an animal-rights activist a lot of my life, so I think it’s just held over from that. I used to be a crazy fundamentalist and didn’t wear leather. So for my own brand, I had to be true to my ethics. People sometimes assume we’re a major botanical, organic company because we’re called Flower Beauty and I’m like, oh no – bring on the chemicals. I want good pigments and amazing products that perform.” Is there a product in her collection she swears by? “Our concealer wand is phenomenal,” she smiles.
In the wake of #MeToo, when activism and speaking out has become the norm, does she still identify herself as an activist? After all, she took her daughter Olive to the anti-Trump Women’s March in 2017.
“I was a bit scared of feminism when I was younger because of all the male bashing. And there are a lot of women’s movements now that I’m apprehensive about, because I don’t want to be viscerally angry at men. I love men. I like keeping both sides in mind. I avoid anything political, where I sense too much anger. It’s just not the way I find messaging to be truly empowering.”
So what hopes does she have for her daughters in the future? “The empowerment to know that girls and women are worthy without wanting to take down the male race…”
As we wrap up the interview, I can’t help but think Drew’s eldest daughter is now almost the same age as she was when I first set eyes on her in E.T. – and how she’s creating a happy, stable childhood for her daughters, so different from her own. If she could send a message to her angry, scared seven-year-old self now, what would it say?
“I would try to tell her how everything’s going to be OK – but she just won’t know it till she’s there anyway.”
Drew Barrymore is proud of her progress!
On Friday, the Santa Clarita Diet star, 43, updated her followers on her health and fitness journey, explaining that thanks to a lot of hard work, she’d lost 25 lbs. over the course of three months.
Alongside a series of photos that illustrated her progress, the mother of two shared that despite how much social media emphasizes physical perfection, it’s not always easy to prioritize taking care of yourself.
“When I look at Instagram, I am made to think I should be at my best self. But most days, I lack consistency due to real life,” she wrote, adding that sometimes people need assistance from professionals. “With the right people we can make our goals a reality…”
“Here is me in a before pose and then 25 pounds later in the same place,” she wrote. “You can tell my face is so much thinner!”
In the before image, Barrymore appeared to be struggling with the move while wearing a cast on her foot. In another, looking noticeably slimmer, the actress seemed much more at ease with the balancing position.
Barrymore went on to share with her followers how difficult her journey has been.
“This takes me so much work,” she wrote. “Diet and exercise and fighting like a lion for it! Damn you genetics!”
Even though the actress has to work extra hard to slim down, she loves her body, “whatever package it comes in.”
“And yet thank you for all the good stuff. I love where I come from (JOHN ETHEL LIONEL),” she remarked, paying homage to the famous Barrymore family. “I just know that I have the control to be what I want. Even if it’s hard AF!”
“At least I know there are experts I can turn to for help. I mean look at what Marnie helped me do in three months!” she continued, giving a shout-out to Marnie Alton of Barre Belle. “When I have time off in 2019…I’m comin for ya! PS may I just say I want these ladies on the front page. You are my spirit animals and my goal posts!”
Opening up about her fluctuating weight earlier this year, Barrymore revealed that although she begrudgingly diets to fit the look of a woman on a high-protein (a.k.a. human meat) diet when she’s filming the Netflix horror-comedy series, she lets herself relax when the show is on hiatus.
“Let’s face it, I hate it,” she said of her filming diet during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden in March. “I would much rather eat fettuccine alfredo all day long.”
But Barrymore wanted to show the major life change that her fictional character, Sheila Hammond, experiences after becoming a zombie. And it came at a time when the mother of two was going through her own life change after splitting from ex-husband Will Kopelman in 2016.
“When I first started the show, I was 145 lbs. and my life was kind of falling apart,” she said. “And I said, ‘Victor [Fresco, the show’s executive producer], can I lose 20 lbs. over the course of the show, and change my eyebrows and the height of my shoes and the body language and attitude and go from someone who’s kind of naïve and unhappy to someone who’s empowered and alive?’ And he said yes, and so I got to make that transformation.”
“When I’m doing the show I’m a vegan and I barely eat anything, and I work out every day, and it’s so healthy,” she said. “It gets to be euphoric, and then it’s like food poisoning, you feel like you’ll never eat again, and then before you know it you’re pigging out with the feed bag strapped to your face. And I’m a foodie, and love food and I travel the world for food, so I get heavy again between the show.”
But while Barrymore didn’t mind her extra weight, she shared that while leaving a restaurant with her friends and all of their kids, a woman stopped her and asked if she was expecting a child.
“And I just looked at her and go, ‘No, I’m just fat right now,’ ” Barrymore recalled on Corden’s show. “And I walked out of the restaurant and I was like, ‘Oh man, that is rough.’
Kevin Williamson was a struggling actor in his 20s when he decided to try his hand writing the sort of slasher films he grew up loving. By then, he’d watched Halloween and Friday the 13th so many times that he knew every twist of the camera and jump scare by heart. “I wanted to write a horror movie that I’d want to watch,” he said. “But how do you scare an audience when all the magic tricks have been exposed?”
The answer, as it turned out, was Scream, the self-aware, meta horror ’90s hit about a group of teenagers who have watched all the horror movies, and then, one by one, are murdered. More than 20 years later, Scream is still scary. And everything that makes it great is on display in its electric opening scene: a twisted game of horror trivia, a beautiful girl, a pair of gruesome murders, a telephone ringing in an isolated house at night.
For Vulture’s package on the 100 Scares That Shaped Horror, Williamson shared the story behind how he conceived of the film’s iconic opening scene.
I knew all these horror movies inside and out, and I kept thinking: How do you scare an audience that grew up on VHS, that’s watched these movies over and over again? So I thought, we comment on the rules and then subvert them a bit — or, sometimes, we follow them exactly, and then you never know what you’re going to get. When you put your star actress in the opening scene and kill her, you’re putting everyone off their game.
I wanted the Janet Leigh moment. I always felt that once you killed the star of the movie, all bets are off. When we first did the movie, Drew was attached to play Sidney Prescott, and then we were trying to find a bigger actress to play the opening part. At the time, Alicia Silverstone was huge, coming off of Clueless, but then Drew told us, “I really just want to play the opening scene. That’s my favorite part of the movie.” And that was great by us.
I wanted her to be the classic, ingénue teenage girl, with that innocent face, in a white sweater and blond hair. At the time, Drew had jet black hair, and she’d just dyed it, so we couldn’t dye it back to blond. She had to wear a wig. I remember Wes saying, “let’s just think of her as a Catholic school girl. She does everything right, and she’s a perfect little girl, and she’s about to be eviscerated, and that’s it.” And I was like, “okay, works for me!” I just wanted the audience to relate to her on some emotional level, and that’s why casting was so important. You meet her and two minutes later she’s in danger. We need an instant connection.
That’s what Drew brought to it. You instantly related to her and the fear dancing in her eyes as she starts to get nervous and uncomfortable, and she starts to realize this is going south. It’s a great performance. Her body language in the beginning is very swirly and rhythmic. She pulls a knife out and slides it back in to the butcher block. She spins around. And then the minute she gets scared, her shoulders go inward and everything changes. If you watch it again, just watch her body language as it transforms.
Drew was very adamant that she didn’t want to see the man playing the voice. We had him in a separate tent, and we had to keep him away from Drew’s vision. She just wanted to hear the voice and be scared by the voice. She didn’t want to attach a face to it. She didn’t want to get one word wrong. And I’m talking even about her screams and her breaths and her “No! No! No!” She was on the mark. I was blown away by her rhythm. I’m always happy to have actors ad-lib, because that can be some of your best stuff and Matthew Lillard was a genius at it. But she was so careful.
A big inspiration for me was the opening scene of When a Stranger Calls with Carol Kane. It was one of those relentless scenes with mood and atmosphere and a slow build. In my first pass of the scene, Casey Becker was actually babysitting. Once I’d written it, I realized it wasn’t necessary. Really, the scene was about Casey’s boyfriend, who was outside strapped to a chair. And it was about the game, and the premise, and the setup, and the conceit of the world we’d created. I wanted it to be just long enough that the audience thinks she might survive it. And the only way to do that was to let it go on just a tad longer than it should. An opening scene shouldn’t go on longer than ten minutes, and this one went on much longer than that.
Once I latched onto the game, I do remember I had written way too many questions. Eventually I narrowed it down, and focused in on the trick question [“Name the killer in Friday the 13th.”] I had much harder questions in the beginning, and the scene really went on forever.
From the page to the screen, we changed some things based on the house and the location. Like, how she got out of the house, and when she looked up at the window and saw that he was staring down at her. All of those moments were created on the spot because of the house. We wanted a house with windows everywhere. Wes was always big on shooting on location. He always wanted to see out the windows, so that the audience could see the danger, or not see the danger that was lurking out there. Prior to the shooting, I went with him to the house and we walked it, and I went and rewrote the action scenes based on his blocking. It was my first experience of realizing that what I saw in my head was never what it actually is. That was a big learning experience, of learning how to let things go. But this is the process. It’s a group effort. It was mostly, “oh wow, this is not what I envisioned in my head — this is better.”
It took them five nights to shoot it. It was my first movie, and I had no idea what I was doing. I was just standing there, asking constant questions. Like, “what’s that? That’s a crane!” I remember the producer looking at me at one point and saying, “you might want to stop asking questions. He’s not here for you. This isn’t a study session.” And Wes was like, “no it’s cool, it’s cool.” I found Wes to be the most calming presence on the set. He saved all his dark impulses for the work. He was just this quiet captain. He always had a great connection with the actors because he was so quiet and intimate with them.
Watching the scene come to life was very emotional. I called my mom and dad on the phone and let them hear Wes screaming “cut!” It was a big deal. It was the beginning of my career. And you just never know how it’s going to play out — it was such a question mark. How lucky was I that my first movie would be something like that? Scream was just everything and more to me. And it still is.
Tina Fey, Candice Bergen and Drew Barrymore welcome Jonah Hill into the Five-Timers Club.
I’ve added a new promotional image of Drew from The World’s Best to the gallery. I can’t wait to see the series when it premieres.
I’ve added HD screencaps of Drew from her 2006 film Lucky You. Enjoy!
RuPaul, Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill and James Corden are set to headline The World’s Best, a global talent competition.
The 10-episode series comes from reality TV veterans Mark Burnett (Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television) and Mike Darnell (MGM Television), who are best known for their involvement in The Voice and American Idol.
Set to premiere in 2019, the series will feature acts from every genre as they attempt to break through the “wall of the world”. Not only will they have to impress the judging panel, but they’ll have to win over 50 of the world’s most accomplished entertainment experts.
Sharon Vuong – CBS’ SVP, Alternative Programming for CBS – said: “It’s only fitting that The World’s Best perform in front of the world’s best. James, Drew, Faith and RuPaul are all amazing talents who have excelled in their respective fields on a global scale. We can’t wait for them to bring their distinct voices to a show that’s unlike any other.”
“We feel incredibly lucky that James Corden agreed to be part of this groundbreaking global event competition,” commented Darnell. He’s an absolute force of nature, and his versatility, passion and showmanship are unrivaled.
“The very name of the show defined the caliber of judges we sought out and ultimately got. Drew, RuPaul and Faith are incredibly accomplished superstars whose talents encompass every area of entertainment. Along with James, The World’s Best will now be the gold standard of competition shows.”
Burnett also said: “James Corden is at the top of his game and there is no one better to host this ultimate international competition series. This groundbreaking series is like the Olympics of talent shows and needed the perfect talent combination.”
Blame it on body chemistry, but fragrances—no matter how high-end—never seem to linger on me longer than an hour. If I really go crazy spritzing in the morning, I might get lucky and still catch a faint whiff around lunchtime. But sadly, I’ve never been one of those lucky, fragrance-friendly people who gets to spend the whole day enveloped in a cloud of scent. (I know, I know—cue a chorus of tiny violins.)
Leave it to Drew Barrymore to create the anecdote. The latest from her line, Flower Beauty, is a six-part fragrance collection called “Pretty Deadly.” It’s comprised of three spicy floral scents, all of which are rendered in both eau de parfum and body mist form. And here’s the magic part: I find that if double-up on a single fragrance by spraying on the body mist version post-shower, then applying the eau de parfum as normal, the scent lasts for the whole day. Yep, really.
Of course, you can also wear them each alone or mix-and-match perfumes and mists to create a unique combo. But if, like me, you need a little extra insurance, layering two forms of the same scent is a total game-changer.