HER cocaine habit got Drew Barrymore blacklisted by Hollywood producers aged just 12 – and decades on she still struggles with the rejection.
Now 45, the actress says her confidence was so shaken she feared celebrities would steer clear of her new talk show.
Drew starred in 1992 psychological drama Poison IvyCredit: Kobal Collection – Rex Features
Drew has said she feared celebrities would steer clear of her new talk showCredit: Rex Features
Drew was only four when she starred in the hit alien movieCredit: Rex Features
In an exclusive interview, Drew said: “I don’t know how I ended up here but I will never lose sight of how lucky I am. Being blacklisted at 12, I appreciate every job I have.
“I know what it’s like to lose and work for things and be so lucky and have the opportunities I have and everything in between. I don’t think there’s much to hide at this point.
“I’m honoured anyone will come on the show. I’m not an assuming person. I’ve been in this industry my whole life but I’m just as excited to be around people of note as anyone would be.”
Drew was just SEVEN when she starred in her godfather Steven Spielberg’s 1982 mega-hit E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Her fame grew with a heartwarming appearance, aged seven, on US chat king Johnny Carson’s show. She was smart, funny and cheeky. Hollywood loved her.
Drew is now a chat show host, and says she will never lose sight of how lucky she isCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The chat show star got her breakthough role as Gertie in E.T. in 1982Credit: Rex Features
But her home life was troubled. Her actor dad John left when she was six months old and Drew had little to do with him.
Mum Jaid took her to New York’s infamous Studio 54 club, where Drew encountered drugs and danced with young stars. She described herself as a “party girl” and would go out drinking five times a week.
By 12 Drew had moved on to marijuana and cocaine.
She supported a nationwide US “Just Say No” campaign, but after falling off the wagon was sent by Jaid to a mental institution, where she was treated for alcohol and drug addiction.
Drew has said that when film bosses found out: “They just wrote me off as damaged goods and I, sadly, understood that.”
That sent Drew into a downward spiral — and when she was 14, she tried to take her own life.
After a stay in rehab, now wanting to start her life over, she made the decision to legally divorce her mother.
At the age of 15, a court ruling meant she was classed as an adult and no longer under her parents’ care. She moved into her own apartment in West Hollywood and started waitressing in a coffee shop — a job Drew says she “wasn’t very good at”.
The child star made an appearance on the Tonight Show in 1982 aged seven
But she never gave up on a return to acting.
Eventually, at the age of 17, she landed a role in the film Poison Ivy, followed by Bad Girls two years later.
Drew has now starred in nearly 60 films, including the horror-comedy Scream and romcoms Never Been Kissed and The Wedding Singer.
She set up her production company, Flower Films, in 1995 and it has generated more than £560million from projects such as the Charlie’s Angels franchise, Donnie Darko and He’s Just Not That Into You.
Drew had gone off the rails by 1989 and was a marijuana and cocaine userCredit: Rex Features
But Drew says her biggest achievement is being mum to her daughters Olive, seven, and Frankie, six.
Drew split from their father, actor Will Kopelman, 42, in 2016.
She told The Sun on Sunday: “When you have your kids, it’s different. You get asked to be the best version of yourself and that was something I didn’t take lightly.
“I struggle, I fail and one of the most important things I want to teach my own kids — and myself as I grow with them — is that change is so important, change in the world and change in yourself.”
Drew is well known for her role in the original Charlie’s Angels movie alongside Cameron Diaz and Lucy LiuCredit: Kobal Collection – Rex Features
Drew was devastated when her marriage to Will ended after four years. She described the split as her “worst nightmare” as she was desperate for their girls to grow up with happily married parents — unlike her own.
Now single, Drew says she has pressed pause on her love life following a spell on celebrity dating app Raya, where she “didn’t match with anyone”.
Now her focus is making her daughters proud through her work, including latest venture The Drew Barrymore Show.
She said: “I’ve never pretended to be anyone I’m not. I’ve never felt more humble and grateful than I do right now — to be alive, to have two kids that are healthy, to be among this crew and this team and getting this opportunity.”
Barrymore pictured with her ex-husband, Will KopelmanCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Drew is filming her show in New York while Will takes care of their children in California.
Its much-hyped launch last month came in the wake of a cleverly edited promo in which the adult Drew interviewed herself as a child, using footage from that famous appearance on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show.
Her first guests were pals and Charlie’s Angels co-stars Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. Adam Sandler, Reese Witherspoon, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron and Tyra Banks have also signed up. But modest Drew knows the show would not work without her production team, stressing: “I will never call this ‘my’ show. It’s OUR show. It’s ‘we’.
“We’re all so lucky to have a job right now and we never forget that.
Drew, pictured interviewing her ex-husband Tom Green on her own chat showCredit: Twitter/@DrewBarrymoreTV
“We want to do a good job, so that we can keep our jobs.”
Given a CV boasting plenty of comic turns, it’s no surprise Drew wants to make viewers laugh.
She said: “There are people like Jimmy Fallon and James Corden whose approach to talk shows are so limitless, but those tend to be in the evening.
“I want to bring that to daytime. I want to be sunny-side up. I want to bring a little late-night to morning because I want to start the day that way. I love and need comedy.
‘Imperfect, messy, silly’
“It’s been a huge calling card for me. Comedy is medicine.
“I can’t take everything so seriously all the time. I’m an imperfect, messy, silly person who’s desperate to figure it out and not get to the end of my life not having worked really hard on myself.”
Having guested on countless talk shows over her long and storied career, Drew admits she didn’t always make life easy for those hosts.
She said: “I didn’t try to be a good guest. I was naughty, actually. Me, naughty? Can you believe it?
“I was naughty because I never wanted to do a pre-interview, to know what questions were coming. Spontaneity for me was crucial.
“I like to go in blind and play because life is too short not to.
Drew admits she didn’t always make life easy for hostsCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“I wanted to be myself, not pretend to be anyone else. If anybody wants to come on this show and do that, I would love that approach.”
Despite so much turbulence in her early life, it is reassuring that Drew has remained so warm, humble, open and down-to-earth.
That is probably why, despite her fears of fresh rejection, so many of Hollywood’s biggest stars are now lining up to appear on her show.
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