Looking back on her topsy-turvy past, she is philosophical.“You can’t live your life blaming your failures on your parents and what they did or didn’t do for you,” she says. I realised it was a waste of time to be angry at my parents and feel sorry for myself.“I pride myself on them and I didn’t know I had that much discipline.I’ve worked really hard and got to do things I’ve always wanted to do and now I feel things are going really well.I just want to make sure I have a sense of balance between work and life, because work is my life and the lines can get really blurry.” It is true that her personal life has been complicated.Her two marriages, to Welsh-born bar owner Jeremy Thomas in March 1994 and comedian Tom Green in July 2001, lasted less than six months combined, and her boyfriends have included actors Val Kilmer and Luke Wilson, as well as the Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti.The first thing that strikes you about Drew Barrymore is how – there’s no other word for it – normal she now seems, for a woman who inherited both a famous name and a tragic legacy from her legendary acting family.
“It was so great to be able to talk the way I do in real life with my friends,” she says.
“I think a film about real love and life and what we go through in relationships and with our friends would be impossible to do authentically if it didn’t have sex and [bad] language, because it wouldn’t be realistic.” The Long factor just adds to the realism.
They met three years ago when they were both cast in He’s Just Not Into You and dated for a year before splitting up and then reuniting early last year. “I thought it would be a unique experience to go to work with someone I did have a history with and I have had emotional times with and who genuinely makes me laugh and who I’m genuinely attracted to,” she says.
She applied in court to become legally emancipated from her parents. She has appeared in some 50 movies and her production company, Flower Films, has produced a dozen, including the two Charlie’s Angels adventures, and a string of successful romcoms.
She was executive producer on the cult classic Donnie Darko and recently made her directing debut with the well-received roller-derby movie Whip It! “I feel really excited about the last few years of my life,” she says.
By the time Drew was 12 she was drinking alcohol and using cocaine; at 13 she was in rehab; and at 15 the little girl who had shown so much promise was working in a Hollywood coffee shop.