Drew Barrymore Opens Up About Her Relationship With Actress Mom
Drew Barrymore has never been shy about discussing her Hollywood upbringing and often shares tales of her non-traditional childhood with the public. She has been open about her struggles. Today, her story serves as a testament to the power of personal growth and forgiveness. Her ability to find peace with her past inspires those struggling with similar experiences.
She became independent at a young age.
The emancipation of the actress from her parents at the age of 14 made headlines due to her troubled relationship with them. Her mother, Jaid Barrymore, was an actress who took her to Studio 54 instead of school at age 9. The legal process of emancipation granted Drew Barrymore the right to make decisions about her education, healthcare, and finances without her parents’ involvement.
Barrymore reminisces about the judge’s words during the courtroom hearing: “You never have to go to school again.” This event marked the start of her journey toward independence and self-sufficiency.
“Our lifestyle together was not traditional,” Barrymore said of her mother during a TV appearance. And in her book, Wildflower, she writes that her mother provided “zero protection, zero consistency” during her youth.
However, over the years, the actress and talk show host forgave her parents despite their tumultuous past, even finding and paying for hospice care for her father, John Drew Barrymore, after years of estrangement. She fondly recalls her father’s rebellious nature, saying, “He got kicked out of one of them, which is so true to him.”
They have healthy boundaries.
Barrymore, a mother of 2, expressed her commitment to being there for her own mother whenever she needs her. “I will always support her,” she said. “I can’t turn my back on the person who gave me my life. I can’t do it. It would hurt me so much. I would find it so cruel. But there are times when I’ve realized that our chemistry and behavior will drum up a feeling in me where I have to say, ’Okay, I need a break again.”
The star and her mother have established many boundaries in their relationship. “We’ve taken many pauses in our lives. Healthy pauses, I’m like, friends need to do it, life-longers need to do it, this is where we’re at,” the actress explained.
The actress feels more empowered to set boundaries today. She said, “As time goes on, the discomfort associated with it decreases.” But she still asks herself, “I’m going to be 48, when does that guilty little girl that’s still so sad that I don’t have this amazing nuclear relationship with my family, when does that become okay?”
Despite this, Barrymore acknowledges that there will always be an emotional pull towards her parents, describing it as a “cosmic, magnetic pull.” It’s accompanied by intense emotions and an overwhelming desire to make things right, to heal, and to resolve issues.
The family influenced her career.
Barrymore has invested significant time in therapy to work through her family dynamic. She also recognizes the influence of her family’s profession on her own career. Acting runs in her family; her grandfather, great-grandparents, great-uncle, and great-aunt were all celebrated actors.
“I’m not trying to do this job because I feel any obligation. I think there is magic in genetics. I feel so compelled to do what they do,” she shared.
In her home, Barrymore always has Turner Classic Movies playing in her kitchen. She describes it as a “portal” that allows her deceased family members to visit her.
“They come and visit me through it. I will be walking into the kitchen, and there will be Lionel or John or Ethel, or my dad. And I literally gasp for air,” the actress explained.
The star even paid a touching tribute to her mother for her book release. “I must say a huge thank you to my mother... thank you for my life. I am ever so pleased to be here,” she wrote. “We have had quite a road, but it is paved with gratitude.”