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Drew Barrymore Becomes a Talk Show Host

The perky scion of the Barrymore acting dynasty on motherhood, quarantine and staying healthy

drew barrymore in twenty twenty

Courtesy CBSTD/The Drew Barrymore Show

En español | Drew Barrymore, 45, famous at age 7 for 1982’s E.T. and blacklisted by Hollywood for bad behavior at 12, bounced back in hit films (Scream, Charlie’s Angels, The Wedding Singer), and earned top award nominations for 2010’s Grey Gardens. On Sept. 14, she premiered TV’s quirkiest new talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, with guests like Adam Sandler, Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon, Gabrielle Union, Charlize Theron and Tyra Banks. She tells AARP about her upbeat life and new TV career.

On the bright side

I'm always looking for the good in people — a true optimist. But I have a little wink and bite with that optimism, and am still a little naughty.

Flashing Letterman

I was an absolute free spirit! Glad I got that out of my system, because I'm a puritan old lady now: I wear clothes up to my neck.

United in 2020

Nostradamus couldn't have seen this year coming. We have to meet the moment and try to do that in a non-alienating way. Self-righteousness is one of life's biggest turnoffs. I never want to be in a divide with people.


Honestly, I wasn't doing well for a while. I was alone with my two daughters [Olive, 8, and Frankie, 6] for a few months without help, trying to do it all. But looking back, it's something I will wear as a badge of honor.

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Staying home

There is going to be so much that comes out of this year that we will never forget. Stolen time — that found time with the people we were with — will forever burn in our memory banks.

Boys on the side

I've spent my entire life trying to figure out relationships, and now I'm exhausted and happy to be rid of that burden. I love my two little girls so much, my cup runneth over. I don't have room for romance.

Being a mom

I am an all-in, caring parent with traditions and values. And my girls are the number one catalyst for me having my s--- together — emotionally, spiritually, patience-wise — letting go of stuff and taking the higher road. But I'm also bohemian and silly and will even bark like a dog when my kids excite me.

Family movies

My family were actors and I didn't really have them around growing up, so I'd watch their movies and read their books to connect with them. I'm around for my kids, but they love E.T. and Ever After and 50 First Dates. It's a neat photo album, a treasure box, for them.

Staying healthy

Hollywood's priority to stay thin, look young and be picture-perfect revolts me. If I'm not eating right or exercising enough, I'll do something about it. But I'm not going to diet and exercise all day long just to look a certain way.

Good-news television

My new talk show is optimism TV. To reach joy, you have to work at it. I don't want to fall into the talk show trap where everybody's coming to promote a film. I want to have writers, musicians, artists — and hopefully that dad with the YouTube channel who helps people without dads.

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