Even by Hollywood standards, DREW BARRYMORE's wild behaviour is legendary. But with career and life back on the rails, she reckons it's great when you’re straight. Yeah. '.'.::":s‘ Peter Ross
THE BUTTERFLY TATTOOED on lter stomach is an apt symbol for Drew Barrymore. 'l'inseltown‘s wild child ntade good. l‘rom ridiculously early sttccess. she entered a dark cocoon of excess and has recently re-emerged as a hardworking. unpretentious actress in such diy'erse projects as Scream. Iz't'eryune Says I l.()l'(’ You and new film The Her/(ling Singer. Still only 33. Drew Barrymore has cleaned up her act.
‘lnstead of taking drttgs. I go tip into the forest.‘ she says. explaining her new methods of dealing with Hollywood stress. ‘I do my volunteer work. 01' I go down to the ocean.”
The Barrymore saga is a compelling one. A movie-stealing performance in [if/I at the age of smut kick-started a gold-storm of dollars and critical acclaim. bttt also brought the pressures of fattte to a sensitiy'e and naturally rebellious kid who had yet to deal with the strain of puberty. Drew got drunk for the first time when she was nine. At ten. she was getting stoned. bttt soon went looking for a new btt//.. She popped her cocaine cherry at her high school prom and was in rehab by 1988.
Today she no longer takes the recreational talcum powder. Indeed. her yices are restricted
to beer and three packets of .\larlboros a day. She hangs with a new crew including Tim
Roth. with whom she got friendly on the set of
Woody Allen‘s musical lz't‘ery‘une Says I Lore lint. (‘ourtney l.o\'e. another former screw-up
10 mausr 28 in.“ 1998
who reiny'ented lterself. is another pal and made Barrymore godmother to her daughter. l‘i'ttttces Bean (‘obain These days Barrymore
gets high on her animal rights work and her
rey'italised moyie career.
‘\\'hen somebody"s performance stimulates me. there‘s nothing I can do about it except go home and say "l’ttck. man. the next time I do a
job. I’m not eyen going to giye it l()()‘é. I’m
gonna pttt 200‘; of my sotil in there'. she says.
‘lt‘s worthwhile to go through whatey‘er you haye to go through to be at this job where you get to spend fifteen to eighteen hours a day cathartically exorcising eyery demon or angel you haye in your body'.’
This idea of acting as release is one Barrymore pttt to good use dttring the shooting of po-mo slasher pic Seremn. in which she giyes an electrifyineg terrified performance as (‘asey' Becker.
‘It was weird. it was scary. it was so cathartic] she gabbles. ‘You were crying and crying and crying for ten days straight. So you’re really up and down. tip and down. tip and down. I mean. no PMS for four months. I promise you. I released the demons. l cleansed ey‘ery' bad thing that happened to my life. he ney'er felt so free.’
'It really freaks me out that E. T. was fifteen years ago. It makes me feel like an old bat.’
It's a neat irony that. just as she's finally over her 80s nightmare. Barrymore is starring in a film steeped in that terrible decade. The Her/(ling Singer. a self-aware romantic comedy set in I‘LS’S. sees Barrymore play opposite l'S
Back on top:
Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer, Scream and Everyone Says I Love You
(with Tim Roth)
comedy star Adam Sandler. She waitresses at the same wedding receptions w here he entertains by singing the popular ltits of the day" (‘ulture ('lttb. lltiey l.ewis. Kaiagoogoo. When his own engagement falls through. Sandler becomes too embittered to croon at weddings until he falls for Barry more.
The Her/(line Singer takes an affectionate dig at the decade restraint forgot. lntagitte l’reny In Pink with a knowing w ink or Hung/e .Vig’llls with a flock ()f Seagulls hairdo. attd you‘ll be getting the picture. But the moxie is also remarkable for splendid onscreen chemistry between Barrymore and Sandler. w itlt sparks flying iit all the right places.
’Kissittg Adam is wonderful because he's a nice. delightful. soft. sensual. sweet kisser.‘ she smiles. ‘lle made ttte feel like a beautiful woman. When you ltaye to do a moment like that it can be awkward and silly but this wasn‘t. This was beautiful and charmingf
l)cspite the new moxie. Barrymore is far from nostalgic for the 80s.
‘It really freaks inc ottt that /-.'.'l. was fifteen years ago. It makes me feel like an old hat. We think the 80s aren‘t that long ago. bttt they 're almost twenty years now. It‘s extraordinary how many different directions w e‘\ e gone in and where w e'ye ended tip coming to at the time of the tnillennittnt which I think is a really. really beautiful and hopeful place.
‘I lta\e a fairy tale life.‘ she concludes. 'It started ottt \ery strange and it's tttrning ottt really good.‘
It's all in the tattoos. 'l‘ltc butterfly always comes good in [lie end.
The Wedding Singer opens on Friday 5 June.