The Double Life Of Drew Barrymore

Actress and media mogul Drew Barrymore has probably experienced more ups and downs in 40-something years than most people do in a lifetime. The daughter of actor and poet John Drew Barrymore (from a long lineage of actors) and Jaid Barrymore, she started acting at 11 months old and rose to fame at the tender age of seven when she starred in one of the biggest hit movies of all time — E.T.

Unfortunately, according to a 1989 interview with People magazine, early stardom led her to alcohol and drug use by the shockingly young age of 10. By the time she was 13, she'd already completed two stints in rehab for addiction. As described in an excerpt from her 2015 memoir, Wildflower, Barrymore later became emancipated when she was 14, dropping out of high school and moving into a Hollywood apartment alone after her acting career had faltered.

But that was only her first act. In the mid-90s, she resurrected her acting career and launched her own production company, Flower Films, which has reportedly grossed over $1 billion at the box office. She went on to settle down with art consultant Will Kopelman, and, though their marriage didn't last, they have been gracefully co-parenting their two children, proving that she is, by her own account, a very different kind of mother than the woman who raised her.

Read on to learn more about how different Barrymore's life has become since her teenage years.

She had a tumultuous personal life

Barrymore did everything young, it seems, including being involved in serious relationships. The actress broke off two engagements and got eloped by the age of 19.

At age 16, she first got engaged to Leland Hayward, a 24-year-old from a prominent Hollywood family, before they split up shortly after. In her late teens, she accepted a proposal of marriage from actor Jamie Walters, but they too broke up before getting married. Then, at 19, she married Jeremy Thomas, a 31-year-old bartender she had only known for six weeks, but they decided to divorce about two months later.

Her second marriage came years later when, at 26, she tied the knot with comedian Tom Green, but the couple announced their plan to divorce after less than a year. Following her split from Green, Barrymore maintained a five-year relationship with Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti. According to People, she once called it "the most positive relationship [she'd] ever been in."

She was also linked to A-list actors Luke Wilson and Justin Long at various times, but none of her relationships seemed to work out long-term.

She settled down and started a family

Barrymore's relationship drama seemed to calm down when she began dating art consultant Will Kopelman in 2011. The pair were soon inseparable, and they tied the knot in a sweet backyard wedding in the summer of 2012 when Barrymore was pregnant with their first child, daughter Olive. They later welcomed daughter Frankie in 2014.

Barrymore's relationship with Kopelman seemed to have finally provided her with the family she had always wanted. She embraced motherhood fully, and she called her in-laws the "quintessential best family," according to Harper's Bazaar.

Though the pair announced their plans to divorce in 2016, the split appears to have been completely amicable, as they co-parent closely.

Things seem to be so chummy between the two of them, in fact, that, in March 2018 while she was away on business, she posted a photo of Kopelman and their daughter to Instagram, calling him an "amazing dad" and writing, "I'll be home soon and be laughing right alongside you guys!"

She partied hard as a kid

Barrymore lived a fast and wild life, even as a very young child. She wrote in her 2015 memoir, Wildflower, that her mother took her "to Studio 54 ... instead of school." She explained in a 1989 interview with People, "From the time I became famous in E.T., my life got really weird. ... By the time I was eight-and-a-half, I felt like I was some abnormal, crazy girl. I could walk up to the door of any nightclub and they'd say, 'Hi, you're that little girl. Come in.'" 

And, surprisingly, her mother took a hands-off approach despite Barrymore's young age. Jaid told People, "When she turned 9 or 10, I felt I had to give her time and space. I began to lose perspective on what was going on with Drew."

In 2015, Barrymore told Today that her daughters' childhoods would be very different from her own. She noted, "In the younger years, they're not gonna have my life. Not going to Studio 54 at 7 years old will probably make them a lot more normal than I was."

She now devotes her free time to child-friendly activities

These days it would be perfectly acceptable for Drew to go to a nightclub, since, after all, she's an adult, but she now devotes her free time to child-appropriate activities with her kids. And, as such, her Instagram is chock-full of adorable snaps of wholesome family fun, like when she took her girls to the Museum of Ice Cream.

She talked to Parents magazine about the kinds of things she likes to do with her kids. "I'm a pretty hit-it-hard mom," she said. "I like days at the house where we do nothing, but we also have tons of activities planned, like horseback riding, an amusement park trip, going to the zoo, and visiting a turtle sanctuary."

She'd even postponed the Parents interview so she could take her kids to swim lessons, telling the reporter, "I promise I'm not a flake. I chose them over work this time, because sometimes I don't have that option. I just wanted to spend the morning with my kids more than anything."

She went to rehab at age 13

Barrymore told People that her substance abuse issues all started when she started smoking cigarettes at age 9. Before long, one thing led to another, and she was sliding down a slippery slope. She said, "I thought, 'Well, if I smoke cigarettes, I can drink.' At first it was with friends. Just sneaking. I would drink not to have fun — I would drink to get drunk."

She recounted, "After a while I started thinking, 'Well, this is getting boring now, so let's try something even better.'" So, when she was 10 years old, Barrymore approached some young adults who were smoking marijuana. To People, she recalled,"I wanted to try some, and they said, 'Sure. Isn't it cute, a little girl getting stoned?'" But before long, Barrymore lost interest in marijuana and decided to try "heavier stuff like cocaine."

Things eventually got so bad that Barrymore had to undergo inpatient treatment in a Van Nuys, Calif. addiction treatment center twice by the time she was 13. After being released from rehab, she told People, "I'm not psychic. But for today I can stay sober. I never want to go back to my old ways. I know that."

Now she sips wine from her own label

Far from the out-of-control teenager she once was, Drew Barrymore now seems to be able to drink alcohol responsibly. The Hollywood actress is a wine aficionado who launched her own label, Barrymore Wines.

"I just love wine," she told the Huffington Post in 2014. Noting that the first varietal she released, a pinot grigio, had a deep significance for her, she said, "I think that's where my wine journey as a wine drinker started — drinking Pinot with my girlfriends." She continued, "That was pretty much the greatest way you could spend time, just girl-talking and sharing what your day was [like]."

In a 2017 interview with Fortune, she revealed that she's also a big fan of Pink Greyhound cocktails and that she goes for down-to-earth beer, saying, "I'm very simple when it comes to beer. A Coors Light is fine for me."

She 'didn't really have parents' growing up

As a child, Barrymore was raised by her mother, Jaid. In a 1989 interview with People, the then-13-year-old actress described her truly heartbreaking relationship with her father, John Drew Barrymore. She said, "He never lived with us, and when I was little all my friends had [a father], and I thought, 'Well, I must be some kind of alien because I don't.'"

She continued, "Once, when I was really little, he spent the night with us, and the next morning he came into my room. I looked up at him and asked, 'Dad?' I was really scared he was going to say no, he was just a friend. But he said, 'Yeah.'" She remembered, "I felt so happy thinking he was going to be back in my life." 

Unfortunately, it apparently wasn't meant to be, and things with her mother weren't much better. At age 14, she and Jaid went before a judge to request that she be emancipated. She wrote in her memoir, Wildflower, "It's no secret that I had to part ways from my mother because we had driven our relationship into the ground," noting, "She had lost credibility as a mother by taking me to Studio 54 (so wrong, but so fun) instead of school."

She's an 'overachiever parent' to her two daughters

Now that Barrymore is a mother to two young girls herself, she's been trying to be the best parent she can be. She described herself as an "overachiever parent" to Good Housekeeping, and, in 2013, she told Harper's Bazaar, "When my [first] daughter was born, I thought to myself, How do I go past infinity with my efforts and care?"

She went on, "I asked my mother-in-law questions. I psycho-stalked all of the nurses with so many questions. I asked every single question. ... I'm really hands-on. Everything else became secondary."

She told People in 2015 that, while she would support her daughters if they want to become actresses, she wouldn't allow them to do it until they are adults. "Not until they're 18. I know it sounds crazy, but I want them to be kids," she said. She later told Good Housekeeping that she's determined to raise her children differently than she was raised, explaining, "Having grown up in the opposite way, I'm raising my children with all consistency, all protection. This is my chance to get it right."

She was broke by 14

While Barrymore had attained stardom at only age 7, her rehab stints at 13 had made Hollywood bigwigs "[write her] off as damaged goods," causing her to no longer get acting jobs.

After she became emancipated from her mother at 14, she dropped out of high school and got a job in a coffee shop. She described a grim existence in her 2015 memoir Wildflower, writing that she found her first apartment in West Hollywood, Calif. "off an alleyway in a notoriously 'Don't walk around here at night' neighborhood."

And she knew nothing about housekeeping, explaining, "My apartment was a mess. It smelled like wood from the Ikea pieces I had bought that still lay in their boxes, and my fridge was a science project. I only had takeout cartons that had lost their shapes, but much worse, they had all grown spores."

It was a low moment for the young woman, who wrote, "Everything I touched had turned to s***."

She runs a successful business empire

In her 40s, Barrymore is a far cry from that young teenager living alone in a messy apartment. She made an successful acting comeback in the '90s and hasn't slowed down since, starring in dozens of films and TV productions and nabbing a Golden Globe for her work in HBO's 2009 drama Grey Gardens.

In the '90s, she launched Flower Films with partner Nancy Juvonen (Jimmy Fallon's wife), and, according to Marie Claire UK, the production company has since grossed over $1 billion.

On top of that, she's debuted numerous other side projects over the years, most recently her Barrymore Wines label and an affordable beauty line called Flower Beauty.

According to People, as of 2013 she was worth $125 million, and that number has surely grown since. While Barrymore's life may have started out rocky, she's certainly made the best of it, and things have worked out quite nicely for her!