Drew Barrymore is soaring to new heights — professionally and personally. Her daytime talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show, is thriving in its third season, and the child star turned icon is currently feeling more inspired than ever.
The actor said that the dissolution of her marriage to art advisor Will Kopelman in 2016 made her feel like she failed her children, whom she vowed would always have a strong a family unit. The girls were just 2 and 3 years old when the couple decided to split after four years together, and Barrymore told People it felt like “the death of a dream … something so final you can’t get it back.”
“I know what that feels like,” Barrymore said of growing up without a supportive family. “If I haven’t learned from that, then what was it all for?”
Barrymore and Kopelman had an amicable divorce and laid down the terms: “‘This is a family, so nobody’s going anywhere.’ I was determined to make it work because we all loved each other so much.”
She added, “There was no scandal. Nothing went wrong, which is cleaner, but makes it harder and more confusing because there isn’t The Thing to point to. We tried so hard to make it work.”
Barrymore said the years following the split were “cripplingly difficult” and that she began to rely on alcohol to “numb the pain.”
“The drinking thing for me was a constant, like, ‘You cannot change. You are weak and incapable of doing what’s best for you. You keep thinking you will master this thing, and it’s getting the better of you,’” Barrymore explained, noting that she battled addiction as a young woman and knew the warning signs.
“After the life I planned for my kids didn’t work out — I almost think that was harder than the stuff [I went through] as a kid. It felt a lot more real because it wasn’t just me. It was about these kids that I cared so much about. And then I probably cared so much that I was only giving to them and not taking care of myself. It was a messy, painful, excruciating walk through the fire and come back to life kind of trajectory.”
Barrymore spent time in therapy and eventually quit drinking, all with her daughters in mind.
“It was my kids that made me feel like it’s game time,” she said of getting sober, adding that developing The Drew Barrymore Show “gave me something to focus on and pour myself into. It gave us something to believe in.”
Now, her blended family is stronger than ever. Kopelman married Vogue fashion editor Alexandra Michler in August 2021, and the co-parents have an “awesome” dynamic.
“Allie is my favorite person. I love her. I love us all being together,” Barrymore said. “These kids have an example of one of the parents moving on and rebuilding another life for themselves. I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t have to do that now? Perfect.'”
Although Barrymore is dating here and there, she said she prefers being home with her kids and tackling the mom workload.
And that dream she thought was dead?
“The cool thing is all these years later, we do have the dream. It’s just different than the one I swore would be the case,” she said.