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Feature: Movie Idols profile

Drew Barrymore

Drew as one of the Bad Girls. Something she'd stopped being by then… ‘Turbulent’ doesn't begin to describe the life of the child who would become a major Hollywood player, but you have to start somewhere…
Our cover image (far right) folds out into a 33 x 23” colour poster!

When you consider her heritage it's clear that acting is in Drew Barrymore's blood. She is the great niece of Ethel and Lionel Barrymore, two of the biggest film stars of all time. Her great-grandfather Maurice Costello's movie career spanned four decades. Her grandfather was John Barrymore, one of the first great movie stars... And as if that wasn't enough, Steven Spielberg is her godfather! So it's no surprise that she stepped in front of a camera (for a TV advert) before reaching her first birthday.

The feature début of the girl who likes to be called Daisy saw her as William Hurt's daughter in Altered States when aged only four. It was, however, her turn in ET that propelled her to stardom at the tender age of seven, making her one of the youngest actors ever to be considered a bankable lead. Aged nine she starred in Firestarter, a Stephen King romp that failed to set the box-office alight, and Irreconcilable Differences, in which her character attempts to divorce her parents, something she would later do in real life.

Her family, however, has been cursed by recurrent addictions: her father abused drugs and her grandfather famously self-destructed through drink. Barrymore was soon to follow in their footsteps. Aged only nine, Barrymore tried alcohol for the first time but ‘waited’ until she'd turned 10 before trying marijuana. It was downhill from there...

In 1988 her mother checked Barrymore, aged 13, into rehab. She eventually stole her mother's credit card and made a break for freedom, which resulted in her being returned to rehab by the police. The final crisis point came with a failed suicide attempt in 1989, but she confounded the cynics and broke the Hollywood mould by beating her addictions, cleaning herself up and taking control of her life. "They rushed me to the hospital and saved me," she has said. "There I had to make a conscious decision [and] I made a conscious decision that I really wanted to live..."

Having cleaned up, established her independence and told the full tale of her woes, she set about rebuilding her career with a determination and skill that surprised commentators and audiences alike...

by Scott Andrews

Each issue of Movie Idols focuses on a major star, with reviews of all of their film roles and a career profile. Read the full profile alongside over 15 full-colour photos of Drew in this issue
Movie Idols #28

Cover / poster image: Steve Granitz © Retna Ltd. Film still © 20th Century Fox
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Movie Idols #28
Drew Barrymore 2002
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