The Stunning Transformation Of Drew Barrymore

With a longstanding history in Hollywood, Drew Barrymore has had her fair share of ups and downs throughout her life. Known for starring in popular films like "Never Been Kissed," "Charlie's Angels," and "50 First Dates," Barrymore's seriously impressive acting resume dates all the way back to her childhood, when she appeared in classics like "E.T." and "Firestarter." But despite her initial success, things weren't always rosy for the young actor. Barrymore has been quite open about the dark moments during her adolescence, including her struggles with drugs and alcohol.

Still, despite the hardships during her youth, Barrymore earned her way back into the public's heart and, more recently, has starred in series like "Santa Clarita Diet" and films like "The Stand In." Nowadays, she's considered a beloved icon; R&B singer SZA's song "Drew Barrymore" is evidence of that (and SZA even performed it on the actor's talk show, "The Drew Barrymore Show"). 

With no shortage of memorable moments throughout her life, Barrymore's stunning transformation into her present-day self is definitely one amazing journey.

Drew Barrymore was born to a famous father and refugee mother

Drew Barrymore is one talented branch of a famous showbiz family tree, beginning with her great-grandfather, Maurice, who began acting 100 years before Barrymore was born. Her father's side of the family was filled with talented actors with a penchant for alcohol. Barrymore never met her grandfather John, the notable Shakespearean actor, nor great aunt Ethel and uncle Lionel (who was most famous for his role as Mr. Potter in "It's A Wonderful Life"). Barrymore's own father, John Drew, was also an actor, though his alcoholism and hippy nature got in the way of a successful career.

Her mother was also an aspiring actress, though she came from much more humble roots. Named Ildiko Jaid, she was born in West Germany in a displaced persons camp for Hungarian refugees during WWII. She then came to America, tried to start her acting career, and met John Drew at 21. They were together for five years, but divorced while Jaid was pregnant with Barrymore. Though the two parents hailed from exceedingly different backgrounds, they brought a similar chaos into their child's life.

Her father was reportedly mostly absent, drunk, and abusive

Though Drew Barrymore holds the illustrious family name, she had little contact with her father. Since her parents divorced before she was born, the future actress didn't meet her dad till she was 3 years old. That meeting wasn't filled with hugs and kisses, but rather a drunken father storming into their apartment only to grab a bottle of tequila. Barrymore always wanted the love and support of her father, but he reportedly wasn't capable of it. Once, when John was babysitting, he allegedly decided to show Barrymore his new karate moves. He was said to have kicked and punched her until she cried out, "Why do you always cause so much pain?" A pretty mature way to phrase it for a girl under seven. But John reportedly retorted that she didn't really know pain and held her hand over a burning candle until she started to cry.

Barrymore cut off all contact with her father for a number of years. But as she grew into an adult, Barrymore would visit him on occasion, while giving up any hope of having a real relationship. In 2001, John was diagnosed with cancer. Barrymore reconciled with her father and took responsibility for his hospice care. Though he remained the difficult, enigmatic person he always was, according to Barrymore in "Wildflower," he took a moment while visiting Barrymore at Joshua Tree to tell her, "You were born perfect." Three months after that touching moment and some three years since being diagnosed with cancer, he died.

Drew Barrymore landed E.T. because she didn't get Poltergeist

By the time Drew Barrymore auditioned for Steven Spielberg at age 6, she was already a pro. She landed her first commercial when she was 11 months old: an ad for puppy food. She consistently got roles, though nothing huge. Then, she was called in to audition for "Poltergeist." As Spielberg looked on, Barrymore charmed everyone with her adorable personality and various stories. The fact that the stories were totally made up didn't make her any less cute.

Barrymore admits that in the audition she told Spielberg she was a drummer in a rock band — and a burgeoning chef. Spielberg knew Barrymore was something special, but didn't think she was the right fit for "Poltergeist." He promised he'd call her in for another film, but, at a jaded age 6, Barrymore guessed it was probably just a Hollywood brush-off. But Spielberg stuck to his word and after many callbacks, Barrymore landed "E.T." and played Gertie in the now-iconic movie.

She started clubbing very young — and mostly with her mother

After the success of "E.T.," mother Jaid quit her job and became Drew Barrymore's full-time manager. Jaid seemed to like the spotlight just as much — if not more — than her child star daughter, so she wanted to take advantage of this new found fame. Jaid took Barrymore to the infamous Studio 54 nightclub when she was only 9 years old.

Jaid and Barrymore hit the club scene hard. Barrymore loved being the youngest at the party. She described clubs as being "Disneyland for adults, only I got to be a part of it." At Rob Lowe's 20th birthday party, Jaid abandoned her child in the club to find her own fun. That's when Barrymore had her first beer and make-out session. The underage party girl regularly drank and smoked cigarettes — and by age 12, she was addicted to cocaine. But her mother thought this completely unregulated childhood was completely okay. Jaid once said, "When we went out, it was always the two of us together. It wasn't ever Drew going off to a party while I stayed home and knitted ... This was still a period where I considered us an inseparable team."

Though Barrymore's problems were quickly spinning out of control, it took a drastic event to get her life on the right track.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

At 13, her mother locked her in a mental hospital to combat her addictions

Drew Barrymore hit a low point at age 13. She slit her wrists. Luckily, her suicide attempt was unsuccessful, and her mother claimed that Barrymore did it for attention. Whether that's true or not, it was an obvious cry for help.

So, Jaid sent her daughter off for an 18-month stint in a mental hospital to get clean and clear her head. Barrymore said she hated it at the time, but now is grateful for it. Speaking about her time in recovery, she said, "It did give an amazing discipline. It was like serious recruitment training and boot camp, and it was horrible and dark and very long-lived, a year and a half, but I needed it. I needed that whole insane discipline. My life was not normal." Though it took a suicide attempt and a drastic lifestyle change, according to her book, Barrymore finally had a little structure in her life and she didn't want to go back to her addictive ways.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

At 14, Drew Barrymore divorced her mom

As her time in the hospital came to a close, the doctors suggested that Drew Barrymore make a big change to stay clean and keep her life on track. They wanted her to become emancipated. Jaid's guardianship was so unstable that experts thought the 14-year-old would have a better chance on her own, versus staying with her mom. So, Barrymore filed for, essentially, a "divorce" from her mom. Jaid was completely supportive of the action. The teenaged Barrymore stood in the court asking to be legally considered an adult, and the emancipation was granted. Barrymore and Jaid hugged in the courtroom, then went their separate ways.

Barrymore was sad that she had to leave her mother, but she knew it was inevitable. It was also very exciting! She was officially an adult and ready to go out on her own. But first, she had to get an apartment and quickly realized she didn't know how to clean, cook, or even do laundry. Having never finished school, Barrymore taught herself, instead of returning. She devoured books on every subject, learned how to take care of herself, and even worked in a coffee shop in order to have an income, since the industry was reluctant to work with her after the drug addiction scandal. Even though she was thrown into the world so young and so unprepared, she slowly found a steady life for herself.

Drew Barrymore had a lot of interesting relationships

Out on her own, Drew Barrymore started getting work again, returning to the public eye at 18 with the film "Poison Ivy," where she played a seductively evil teenager. To get past her child acting days, she took risqué roles and adopted a kind of "wild child" persona in the press. Barrymore's real love life did nothing to temper that.

At 19, Barrymore married Jeremy Thomas after a very brief courtship in 1994. The marriage was a surprise to the media, and it didn't help that Thomas was a 31-year-old bartender. But after only two months, the couple split up. In 1998, she dated Luke Wilson for a year after they starred in "Home Fries" together. Shortly after their breakup, the actress starting going out with unusual comedian Tom Green. Though it seemed an unlikely couple, they were married for two years before an amicable divorce in 2001. After split No. 2, she experienced her longest relationship yet. Barrymore and The Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti remained linked for five years. Though they never married, it was obvious their relationship was incredibly close and full of love. After that, she dated Justin Long for about a year before meeting her third husband.

The actor has a history of groundbreaking late-night moments

Drew Barrymore has always made a splash onscreen — whether in character, or as herself. She still holds the record for youngest star to ever host "Saturday Night Live," which she accomplished at age 7. That's four years younger than the next youngest host, Macaulay Culkin, who made his debut at the ripe old age of 11.

But her most memorable moment was in 1995, when she was a guest on the "Late Show with David Letterman." Barrymore dished that the week before Letterman, she did a performance art character named Lolita at a club on the Lower East Side, involving stripping and prancing like a go-go dancer on stage. When Letterman himself asked about her Lolita escapades, Barrymore decided to show rather than tell. She jumped up on the desk and started dancing. The crowd went crazy and, heightening the moment, she turned towards Dave, lifted up her shirt, and flashed him! No one saw anything but Dave and the audience went wild.

Everybody was talking about it the next day and though the backlash wasn't severe, Barrymore realized she had gone too far. In her book "Wildflower," Barrymore discusses the Letterman moment and how she was through with her "bad girl/wild child" image. "I wanted to be a good girl, and I wanted goodness to be the theme of my life and my work," Barrymore resolved. That would the last of her salacious late-night moments.

Drew Barrymore founded a production company Flower Films

Never happy to sit around and wait for the next role, Drew Barrymore wanted to create more films for and about women. So, with her good friend Nancy Juvonen (who later went on to marry Jimmy Fallon), she formed Flower Films in 1995, producing their very first movie in 1999.

They've gone on to produce "Never Been Kissed," "Home Fries" (the first screenplay "Breaking Bad" showrunner Vince Gilligan ever wrote), "Charlie's Angels," and the Jake Gyllenhaal breakout, "Donnie Darko." Now involved in a wide range of film and TV projects, Flower Films is going strong.

Drew Barrymore sought out Adam Sandler to revive her career

After she decided to be a "good girl," Drew Barrymore had trouble getting roles. Though she was featured in Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" and had an amazing cameo in "Scream," Barrymore wasn't where she wanted to be. So, she took charge and worked to get it back.

Barrymore was desperate to have a meeting with Adam Sandler around 1997. Somehow she knew that they would be a perfect onscreen duo — she loved his goofy style on "SNL" and in "Billy Madison." Sandler finally agreed to a meeting, and, at first glance, it seemed like a pair that would never work.

"We looked like the worst blind date you've ever seen," Barrymore said. "I showed up with purple hair and a leopard coat and he was in his classic cargo pants." Despite the mismatched attire, the two got along and Barrymore made it very clear she wanted to work with him whenever they found a project that was right. Fortunately, Sandler thought Barrymore would be perfect in "The Wedding Singer." Critics and audiences loved Barrymore in the movie. The world fell in love again with Barrymore's irresistible charm and she was back in the spotlight. And while fans may have thought they saw sparks flying between the two in real life, Barrymore has clarified that they never dated.

She is building her empire

Drew Barrymore can't stop, won't stop — in the best possible way. Though she's still acting, the star is slightly less interested in films, which take her away from home for long periods of time, now that she has children. So she's been branching out into other business interests. Ever a force of creativity, Barrymore grew interested in cosmetics after modeling and co-creative directing for CoverGirl. "I'm not good at just showing up to things. I like to be involved in the creative process, learning how things function," said Barrymore about her growing interest in creating a cosmetic line. 

On the other side of the spectrum, the multi-talented entrepreneur has crafted Barrymore Wines. She describes herself as "passionate about wine" and worked with Carmel Road winery to create her signature blend.

But that's still not all! Barrymore is also directing, producing, running Flower Beauty, Flower Eyewear, Flower Films, and more. The moral of the story is Barrymore works super hard and maybe has some kind of magic that adds hours to her day.

Drew made her film directorial debut with Whip It

With no shortage of acting credits to her name, Drew Barrymore has also branched out and showed off her skills behind the camera. In 2009, she made her movie directorial debut with the coming-of-age drama, "Whip It." In addition to directing, Barrymore also starred as Smashley Simpson in the film. While promoting her work, Barrymore chatted about the movie with Reuters and discussed her experience as a director. Noting that Barrymore had previously told the outlet that directing was something she'd always wanted to do, the actor stated, "it was just a natural progression of taking everything I learned and putting it into something different."

Going on to explain her process, Barrymore revealed that she's no stranger to seeking advice from other filmmakers, "but I also think at the end of the day, you have to trust your own instincts." The star added that outside opinions can also help someone clearly see their ideas, and for Barrymore, she wanted to present themes of "hope and empowerment and believing you can create something special with your life." Still, according to the star, fighting to keep the movie true to its initial intentions wasn't easy, but Barrymore managed to stick to her vision. When asked if she saw other directing credits in her future, Barrymore enthusiastically stated that she hoped so, saying, "I must of been training for this my whole life. I can't imagine it would be just a one off."

Drew Barrymore had two girls with Will Kopelman and felt like a failure after their divorce

With her career flourishing and businesses taking off, Drew Barrymore thought she finally found a healthy, steady relationship when she married Will Kopelman in 2012. "Will struck a lot of my pragmatic sides," she said. "He was someone who was always reachable on the phone, someone who was a classy human being, someone who has this incredible blueprint of a family that I don't have." Barrymore knew they were total opposites, but she wanted it to work out. They had two lovely girls together, but her "perfect" family wasn't meant to be.

They divorced after four years of marriage. Barrymore was devastated. "When you get divorced you're like, 'I'm the biggest failure. This is the biggest failure.' It's so shameful and hard to actually go through that, even privately." On "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (via Us Weekly), Barrymore added, "I so wanted to raise kids in this ultra-traditional way and do everything so the polar opposite of my experience." Though it might not be the perfect family she always dreamed of, Barrymore and Kopelman are working well together on co-parenting their children.

Drew Barrymore has experienced postpartum depression

During an exclusive interview with People, Drew Barrymore revealed that despite the positives of her "perfect and totally imperfect" personal life, she'd still experienced one common health struggle that can come with childbirth, postpartum depression. According to the star, despite feeling perfectly normal after the birth of her first child, Olive, Barrymore experienced postpartum depression after her second daughter, Frankie, was born. The "Ever After" star stated that she could tell that something was different after Frankie's birth. "I was like, 'Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand,'" the actor told the outlet. Barrymore went on to say her feelings shifted when she experienced the symptoms: "I really got under the cloud."

The "50 First Dates" star added that the combined pressure of her busy work schedule and her private life left Barrymore feeling stressed and searching for balance. "It was just really challenging and I felt overwhelmed. I made a lot of decisions and I definitely changed my work life to suit my parenthood." 

While the actor stated that her postpartum depression was "short-lived, probably six months," Barrymore said that the experience positively impacted her and taught the star to appreciate each moment of her life and not let the little things overwhelm her. Barrymore finished by saying she wants to set a positive example for her daughters and show them that working and having a pleasurable personal life is entirely possible.

Motherhood has changed Drew Barrymore's life

"I cannot remember life before kids. It seems like a dream," Drew Barrymore once said. Despite her divorce from Will Kopelman, Barrymore is the happiest she's ever been, all because of the real loves of her life: her little girls, Olive and Frankie. Giving birth in 2012 and 2014, she's thrilled to give herself completely to being a mom and happy she didn't have children when she was younger. Now she can share the lessons she's learned from her tumultuous life with her daughters. All Barrymore wants to do is provide a safe and loving home for her kids, with lots of the family structure that she never had. "When people are like, 'Aren't you worried your daughters are gonna end up like you?', I'm like, A) thanks, [and] B) I, in some ways, hope they do, now, in the later years," she said on "Today." "And in the younger years, like, they're not gonna have my life, you know. Not going to Studio 54 at 7 years old will probably make them a lot more normal than I was."

The idea of having two Barrymore mini-me's in the world sounds pretty good. And now that Barrymore feels so fulfilled by her wonderful children, there's no chance of those girls suffering like she did.

Drew Barrymore switched things up by starring in a dark comedy for Netflix

Drew Barrymore is still looking to challenge herself despite her many great successes and her full plate. In 2017, she debuted "The Santa Clarita Diet," a dark comedy for Netflix. It received good reviews and people were excited to watch the gory comedy. Though she produced and starred in the program, when Barrymore was first approached for the show, she was hesitant. She had spent little time on-camera at the time and she was focused on her girls and healing from a divorce. Feeling "heavy" (her words) and scared, the amazing script won her over.

The female-centered, zombie comedy that crosses all genres is nothing like her previous work. The show was apparently been a delight for Barrymore to work on and helped her through the darker moments of divorce. In an interview with The New York Times, Barrymore said, "It goes to show you: sometimes when you think something is the worst timing and there's no way you're going to be able to do it, it can become the thing that ultimately pulls you out of the darkness and brings you into the light." "Santa Clarita Diet" was canceled in 2019, though fans were lucky enough to enjoy three whole seasons of the show.

She's reconnected with her mom

As previously mentioned, Drew Barrymore's atypical childhood ultimately led the young actor to become emancipated from her mother, Jaid Barrymore, when she was just 14 years old. However, despite parting ways, Drew recently revealed while speaking to Howard Stern that she's currently in contact with her mother, and has a much healthier relationship with her now than she did in the past. As noted by Today, the star has previously stated that her mother was the one who initially exposed her to many questionable adult experiences. In a prior interview, Drew said that Jaid once told her, "'Do you want to go to school and get bullied all day, or do you want to go to Studio 54?'"

Still, despite the struggles with their relationship, Drew told Stern that she now tries to view her mother's choices in an unbiased way. "She probably felt she had nowhere to turn," Drew stated regarding Jaid's choice to have her daughter placed in a psychiatric ward. Additionally, the "Charlie's Angels" star said that looking at her parent's past and her father's absence played a role in her own decision to reconnect with Jaid. "We texted this morning," the actor added. She then said, "I'm really glad there is healing there. I feel goodness towards my mom." The star also disclosed that she'd invited Jaid to be a part of her granddaughters' lives. "She's met my kids," said Drew. "But there's real boundaries and distance and a lot of respect."

Drew Barrymore has her own talk show

In addition to her other ventures in the entertainment industry, Drew Barrymore also hosts her own series, "The Drew Barrymore Show." First premiering in 2020, Barrymore's talk show sees the beloved actor chat with celebrity guests and explore human interest pieces, as well as other news and pop culture stories. But, of course, the star also made the series her own by bringing plenty of her signature charm and style. Barrymore has even showed off some of the casual wear that she sports when she's headed to the set. "Yes, this is how I show up to work," the star captioned, showing off an Instagram image of herself wearing bright tie-dye leggings and a colorful coat.

Additionally, People recently reported that Barrymore's well-received talk show was renewed for the 2022-2023 season. The president of CBS Media Ventures stated that they "could not be happier" to continue their partnership with Barrymore, adding, "We love having her as part of the CBS family." Similarly, the "Wedding Singer" star offered up her own statement regarding the news, saying, "I am honored and grateful," before adding that she wants to continue pushing boundaries and offering her viewers new experiences. Barrymore went on to say, "Our show wants to be a bright spot not a blind spot and we just want to make people feel good. And I thank all the people who helped us get here."

She reflected on one of her earliest roles with author Stephen King

In addition to her other roles as a young actor, Drew Barrymore also starred as Charlie McGee in 1984's "Firestarter," an action/horror film adapted from Stephen King's popular work of the same name. More recently, the King of horror appeared on Barrymore's talk show to discuss the adaptations of some of his famous books. Reminiscing on stories like "Carrie," "The Shining," and "Christine," the pair eventually got to King's "Firestarter." As it turned out, the writer had some pretty strong feelings about Barrymore's portrayal of the young pyrokinetic.

"I thought that you were terrific in that part, that was very, very difficult and you were great. Every time you got ready to light a fire, your beautiful blonde hair would blow back. It was great," King stated as he praised Barrymore's sharp acting skills. Similarly, the star appeared to have fond memories of her character as well, saying that she couldn't describe how much she truly enjoyed getting to tackle the role. "When you're seven and you think you can blow people away with a fireball it's really empowering," the "Blended" star said to her guest. Additionally, in a separate clip of the pair's chat, Barrymore thanked the iconic author for her experiences with him, saying that her time with King and his family "made important lifelong impressions."

She would never get married again

While People stated that Drew Barrymore is a self-admitted "hopeless romantic," the star said that there wouldn't be any wedding bells in her future. As noted by the outlet, Barrymore has previously been married three times, so her choice definitely has the personal experience to back up her decision. "Never. Never, never, never. I will never get married again!" The Santa Clarita Diet" star declared, and according to her, that statement isn't something she says lightly. However, despite her negative experiences, the actor isn't giving up on romance.

 "I've tried it. I went on a couple of dates," the star revealed, regarding online dating. Barrymore disclosed that she'd even been ghosted and told the entertainment source that one person canceled on her at the last minute. "I was waiting to go on a date, and at the time we were supposed to meet he just wrote, 'Yeah, I can't.' But I'd rather hang out with my friends." Still, the star is open to finding and experiencing love, whether it's tomorrow or ten years away. 

More recently, Barrymore spoke to CBS about dating and reaffirmed that her feelings on marriage hadn't changed. After noting that the dating world is seriously different for a single parent, the star stated she wanted to find someone who wasn't looking for a traditional relationship. "I would maybe live with someone again maybe, but I've had kids, and there's no way. I will never, ever, ever, ever get married."

She apologized for her remarks about the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial

During a recent episode of "The Drew Barrymore Show," Drew Barrymore addressed the legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. While chatting with her guest, Anthony Anderson, Barrymore called the defamation trial a "seven-layer dip of insanity." The pair also discussed some of the publicly released texts, mentioning one specific message from Depp, with Barrymore questioning, "How about the burnt body, and why a Honda Civic?" The talk show host went on to say that she understood the actors were essentially exposing tons of information about their personal life to the public. However, Barrymore declared that she didn't understand why they were revealing so much, saying, "this is crazy!"

As a result of the interview, many viewers felt that the actor had taken things too far and had made light of domestic violence allegations. In response to the backlash, E! News reported that Barrymore had issued an apology on Instagram with a video message, stating that she was sorry if her comments on the trial had seemed insensitive. "I just want to deeply apologize and appreciate everyone who spoke out, because this can be a teachable moment for me and how I move forward and how I conduct myself," she said. Barrymore also expressed that she hoped to show more consideration moving forward, because she genuinely wants to be her best self.