“I don’t know how I got here, but I’ll never forget how lucky I am.” That’s how Drew Barrymore, 47, summed up her life when talking about her troubled history. The actress became known internationally at the age of seven when she starred in “ET-The Extra-Terrestrial”, however, fame took her down paths considered harmful to any adult, let alone a child her age.
Born February 22, 1975, in Culver City, California, Barrymore is the daughter of actors John Drew and Jaid Barrymore. Her godparents were actress Sophia Loren and filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Being involved at such an early age with Hollywood is what led her down the path of drug and alcohol abuse.
When Drew was only six months old, his father left home and left Jaid alone with the baby, so their relationship is almost non-existent.
Her work began shortly after, at eleven months, when she appeared in a dog food commercial. His film debut took place in 1980, in the film “Viagens Alucinantes”, but it was only in “ET” that fame arrived. The feature was one of the highest grossing films in the history of the 1980s and made her one of the most well-known child actresses of the time. Barrymore even won the Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Actress and became the youngest person to guest host “Saturday Night Live”.
If her career took off, her personal life began to unravel. At the age of seven, her mother took her to Studio 54, a famous nightclub in New York, where the young actress started using drugs. At the age of nine, Barrymore billed herself as a “party girl” and went out drinking five days a week.
At the age of 12, the artist already used marijuana and was addicted to cocaine.
My mom wouldn’t let me eat candy. Studio 54, weed and alcohol are fine, but don’t touch that candy.
Drew Barrymore on ‘Drew’s News’
In an interview with The Sun, Drew said that she was discarded by the great film directors when they discovered her relationship with drugs. “They treated me like damaged goods.”
She was admitted to rehab at age 13, and spent eighteen months in a mental institution. The problems were getting worse in her life and, at the age of 14, she tried to kill herself. Afterwards, she was referred back to a rehabilitation clinic.
Drew was emancipated at age 15 and moved into her own apartment in West Hollywood. This entire period was told in the 1990 biography “Little Girl Lost”, or “Pequena Garota Perdida” in free translation into Portuguese. In the book, she says that her mother was always a bad influence and never showed love.
Two years later, at 17, she landed a role in the movie “Relação Indecente” (1992), followed by “Quatro Mulheres e Um Destino” in 1994.
Drew has almost 60 films in her filmography, such as “Charlie’s Angels” (2000), “Scream” (1996), “Never Been Kissed” (1999) and “Afinado no Amor” (1998). In 1995 she opened her own production company, Flower Films.
These days, she says the best thing that ever happened to her was her daughters, Olive and Frankie.
In an interview with “Norm Macdonald Has a Show”, the actress spoke about missing using drugs. “No, my God. It’s been a long time, but no. Nothing would make me panic more and it seems like the biggest nightmare,” she said.
“I drink, enjoy my life and get out of my normal life. It’s not that I became a militant. I solved my shit at 14. Crises, rejection, without a family. I resolved it. And then I started the cycle of managing alone, without parents” , finished.