She’s not a bad girl (but she is a little naughty).
She’s a wild child, a force of Nature. This woman has personality to burn. She is self-effacing, smart, clownish, alternately sexy, coy, or “cute”, and an excellent actress who brings much charisma (and sometimes a bit of mischief) to any role she plays. That’s why I am madly in love with Drew Barrymore.
Drew is candy all over. As she has grown from child star to adult star, my how she has grown! This woman is hot, but she also has a certain Everywoman appeal as well (as evidenced by some of her more “dressed-down” roles). She’s fascinated us for years, from her train-wreck days of childhood alcoholism and drug abuse to her other escapades (dancing topless on David Lettermen's desk for his birthday). Throw in a couple of quickie marriages (one of which was so dumb it defies logic) and you have a quirky babe, but with the allure of a true star.
Drew started acting almost straight from the delivery room. Still dragging her umbilical cord behind her she got her first gig in a dog food commercial when she was a whopping 11 months old. Her first film role (a small part) was in the sci-fi thriller Altered States in 1980. From there she moved into the movie that made her a star as Elliot’s little sister, Gertie, in E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial. This set Drew’s acting ship a-sailing – she was instantly famous. She was cute in that movie and actually did a competent job handling her lines and the film’s action (unlike most child actors). In 1984 she took a supporting role in Irreconcilable Differences (in which she starred as a young girl divorcing her parents, a dumb concept, but kinda fun). For her work in this flick she snagged a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Supporting Actress”.
She started smoking cigarettes at nine years old. She was actually allowed into, and was a regular patron at, the hedonistic Studio 54 in New York (just goes to show what jackholes the owner’s of Studio 54 were, letting a little kid in the joint). By the time she was 11 she was hitting the booze pretty hard. She segued into drugs, smoking weed at 12, then snorting blow at 13. Her tender years combined with the party-animal behavior made her constant grist for the tabloid mill. She entered rehab at 13, then at 14 tried to kill herself, which led to another stint in rehab. After getting out of the clinic, she went to live with David Crosby (musician and famous addict who’d cleaned up his act). She lived with Crosby and his wife for three months. The next year, Drew appealed to the courts for emancipation. Her petition was heard in a juvenile court, her motion was granted, and she moved into her own apartment (shades of Irreconcilable Differences).
She had a breast reduction done in 1992. It is interesting to note that Drew’s body image during her formative years seemed to be fairly healthy unlike that of most young women of the time. She alternated between normal weight to being a little on the chunky side (still cute), and this breast reduction is typical of her character. Her breasts were too big; they caused her back pain, so she had them reduced. Most Hollywood types would’ve been going in for implants – not darling Drew!
She married a regular Joe, a bar owner named Jeremy Thomas in 1994. [They were only married for three weeks. Go figure.] That same year she featured in the Western Bad Girls (one of my favorite Drew Barrymore movies: “Action! Adventure! Hot chicks with guns!”) In 1995, Drew went all the way and posed for Playboy magazine’s January issue. And she was cute/hot in that, too (tramp-stamp and all). It was later that year, during a guest spot on The Late Show with David Letterman, she climbed onto Letterman’s desk and bared her breasts to him (it was Dave’s birthday). Her back was to the camera so we in the home audience didn’t get to see her funbags, but Dave sure got an eyeful. He later reported being agog! Drew also modeled for Guess jeans the same year, and her star was definitely shining brightly.
She made a somewhat sobering film (a favorite of mine for personal reasons) called Mad Love. This film was a bit off the beaten path for Drew. Her character is bipolar, suicidal, depressive –
First, kooky chicks are fun – at least for the first two weeks or so until the lid on the crazy boils over. Secondly, I actually felt sorry for her character in the movie because the kind of emotionally damaged, codependent whack-job she played (with sympathy, I might add) is exactly the type of woman I generally attract. So, I could definitely relate to her and to the scenarios Chris O’Donnell (her movie mate) found himself in with Drew’s character.
Also in 1995 she had a small part in Batman Forever. She played one-third of Two-Face’s (Tommy Lee Jones) ménage á trois, the girls he called, “Sugar & Spice”. Drew was “Sugar”; IScream in 1996. Drew carved out a niche (much like Meg Ryan, only Drew gets to do more frequent dramatic work) in the romantic-comedy genre. Her rom-com work has been fairly steady and not too shabby. The best of the lot, of course, is The Wedding Singer (1998, with Adam Sandler), Never Been Kissed (1999), and 50 First Dates (2004, also with Sandler). She did a turn in a reboot of the Cinderella story in Ever After (1998). She was charming beyond belief in this movie, and if it weren’t for her I would never have watched it.
Drew carries a lot of clout in Hollywood, and she started her own production company called Flower Films. Her company’s first movie in 1999, in fact, starred her in Never Been Kissed. I love how ordinary she presented herself in this movie – it was fun, funny, and her on-screen goofiness and self-effacing were refreshing. Flower Films also did the big-budget Charlie's Angels (starring Drew). Her company produced Donnie Darko (a brilliant move on her part to take a chance on this movie – its cult-status guarantees an audience for years to come). The original production group backed out of the movie, and Drew said, “Hey, I’ll finance it.” She also played the part of one of Donnie Darko’s teachers. I think this movie has probably paid for itself in spades by now (DVD sales out the wazoo).
By far, though, her most poignant and powerful role was on the small screen. HBO Pictures developed a made-for-cable movie named Grey Gardens. The character Drew portrayed is Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”). This true story is about two grown women, a mother (“Big Edie”) and daughter (both famously related to Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis), who end up living in a deteriorating, ramshackle home on Long Island, complete with cat hoarding, broken windows, no food, running water, or electricity (Jackie finally came though with some bucks to help out; Big and Little Edie were an embarrassment by that time when their plight became public). Drew deservedly won a boatload of awards for this movie: Golden Globe and Satellite Awards for “Best Actress”; Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor”; and she was nominated for an “Outstanding Lead Actress” Emmy. Even if you don’t know the story of “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” this miniseries is definitely worth the time. Drew’s performance is riveting, and she looks alternately great and downtrodden as required. In the over four dozen films she’s done this is probably her strongest part.
Is he a comedian? If so, he’s not funny. An actor? Unlike Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Green can’t act. Let’s be charitable and just call him a “personality” (a “personality” who broadcast his testicular cancer surgery – even shock-jock Howard Stern has limits to his antics).
I lost a little respect for Drew on this one (maybe Green just wanted a ride on her health insurance or he wanted to become a US citizen or something). To this very day this marriage mystifies me.
And, to add insult to injury, it was Tom Green who filed for divorce from Drew. He did this in December 2001 after they had been married about five months. This rings just about as stupid to me as Dave Justice divorcing Halle Berry – it’s Halle Berry, f’ cris’sake, are you insane, man? I can’t begin to imagine what Drew did to make this goober divorce her – I was just glad when it was over.
In 2002, she hooked up with the drummer for The Strokes. They stuck together for five years. Then she dated another actor; they split up in 2008, got together again in 2009, but split for good inmight be bisexual (and boy, can I come up with some mental pairings there).
She stated, in 2004, “A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally. I love it.”
In 2007, some former magazine-editor turned radio talking-head crawled out of the woodwork and claimed she had a romance with Drew back in the 1990s. I don’t know if any of the bisexual talk is true, or how much of it might be a pose (part of Drew’s general rebellion). But if in the 1990s she was into chicks, that’s okay with me – it seems as if it would be something she would do. I still love her regardless.
Beyond being an Epicurean sex-goddess and great actress, Drew is also quite the philanthropist. In May 2007, she was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme. She later donated $1 million to the program. So, she is capable of caring about something other than the typical Hollywood crud (and she didn’t bother to adopt a foreign kid for the publicity, either).
And, as part of her ongoing effort to destroy the hopes and dreams of any he-man (such as myself) of ever having her, she went and got married (for the third time!) on June 2, 2012. The wedding was held at her $5+million home in Californy. The groom is some guy no one's ever heard of named Will Kopleman. He's a coupla years younger than Drew, he's losing his hair, he looks like a younger Prince Charles, and the claim is he is an “art consultant”.
Who cares? He just assured himself a major meal ticket by knocking Drew up (she's preggers in her wedding pics, and she's due at the end of 2012). Disappointments abound, but I still love her anyway.
There you have it: a very complex woman who steered the twisted course from child star to adult actress, producer, director, and philanthropist.
Author’s note: Drew’s appeal for me strikes close to home. My second (ex) wife looks very much like Drew Barrymore, and that played a (subconscious) part in my interest in her. That, and the fact she is 12 years my junior (incidentally, she is only 3 weeks older than Drew) and has a mighty pair of double-Ds. OK, it was really the age-difference and the double-barreled bazooms that got me, but the fact she looks like Drew Barrymore sure didn’t hurt (maybe I should give her a call . . .)