Drew Barrymore on her new job, motherhood, reteaming with Adam Sandler
Multi-hyphenate Drew Barrymore — actor, producer, winemaker, beauty mogul — can add fashion editor to her resume. Barrymore has signed on as editor at large for lifestyle website Refinery 29 and her first post goes live later this morning.
“My friends and I love sites like Refinery. I’m so excited about the fun of being a contributor,” Barrymore — who will write lifestyle-focused posts covering topics like entertainment, food, motherhood, and wellness — told EW. “I love getting information and getting direction in life. I also love giving it, but I just didn’t have a venue [to share].” Barrymore will work closely with Refinery 29 editor in chief Christene Barberich to develop content for her ongoing monthly column.
Read on for an exclusive Q&A with Barrymore and an excerpt from her debut post — on why she finally learned how to cook and her recipe for the perfect breakfast sandwich — for Refinery 29.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to accept the job offer from Refinery 29?
Drew Barrymore: I have no internet savvy whatsoever, but I love researching things. The Internet is my library… beyond that, I’m completely intimidated by it. If I can look up the best places to have breakfast in a city or research an old book… I love that aspect. I love when I trust the curation, when you see a site and you’re like, “I love their taste, I know I’m in a safe zone here.” I feel that way about Refinery 29.
You’re going to be dishing out advice in some of your pieces, who do you turn to when you need advice?
It totally depends on the subject. If I need French patio furniture, I will call up my friend Gucci Westman. She has great taste and knows everything about everything. If I need a doctor, I’m calling my friend Robin, who is always in touch with the best specialists everywhere. Right now, I would love to come across a top ten list of best books for toddlers, but I’m actually dying to write that list. I’m pitching it to Refinery as we speak to see if they’re interested in it as one of my pieces. I just spent the afternoon in a children’s book store and I couldn’t believe how many of the books I knew and had been reading to my daughter and have opinions about and would love to share with people. They’re not just books from my past. They’re my books now as a parent that I love reading to my daughter and carry with me everywhere because it’s like the best crutch in the world to have a book with you. They become these great tools in life.
Refinery 29 is a lifestyle site, how would you describe your lifestyle?
Most of my life I’ve just worked. Life has been so in the backseat that it’s always been about film or a film production, producing, acting, every little detail that goes into filmmaking. [My work has ] slowed down because I didn’t know honestly how to have a life under those circumstances. I mean, when you’re on a film, you’re out in the middle of nowhere working 18 hours a day and it’s really hard to have a life. I really commend people who seem to balance it. I’m not sure how they do because I wasn’t. Now that I’ve carved out a little more time for myself in life, I find that the passion and the interest and the discussions have come much more in the center.
You also have a photography book titled Find It in Everything coming out on January 14th. When did you get into photography?
Exactly twenty years ago, when I was 19, I picked up an old, tiny, automatic Yashica camera and I just started shooting. We didn’t have iPhones back then, we didn’t even have cell phones. I loved having a camera in my hand. Then I was given Pentax K1000 for my 25th birthday and I fell in love [because] it was not this automatic little bullet, but this really interesting, like “learn how to load film and learn apertures [thing].” Most importantly, it allowed for happy mistakes, happy accidents. Like too much light would get into the frame, but it would look so cool. Or learning different speeds of film — I never went anywhere without 3200 speed film because I knew it could shoot at night in a party and look really great. I fell in love with the whole thing. I totally struggle with it now because of the friggin’ iPhone. Life is not the same anymore, so now I do photography more professionally rather than as a hobby. But along the way, along those 20 years, I would take pictures of things I found with heart shapes in them. The heart is much like a flower. It really just has almost zero negativity to it. Life is such a double-edged sword, everything has a polarity. But hearts and flowers are some of the safest, greatest things in life. I guess I’m just drawn to them. I love jokes, but God, jokes can go so wrong. I have stayed up many nights thinking, “Fuck. I can’t believe I made that silly little joke. That was a disaster.” But I like things where you don’t question yourself so much. That’s a good thing.
In addition to the new job and the book, you’re also expecting your second child. How does being pregnant affect your work?
It’s good. My daughter gets all of my first priority and time, so I feel as good as I can about that. Being pregnant and having a toddler, as every parent says, is amazing. You’re very tired, but it’s so wonderful. God, it’s emotional, but it’s the best. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. My daughter gets all my time, and if I get to sneak out and do some work, I feel really guilty that I’m not with her. I’m also glad that I’m filling up something in myself to give to her. It’s good. You just sort of balance things.
Plus, you’re also got a new movie coming up, your production company, and your wine and makeup companies.
I know it sounds dizzying! Sometimes it seems that way when I hear it back, but I compartmentalize and I prioritize. I know that I won’t succeed at everything, every day. Some days have to be solely about my daughter. Some days I really try to be a good wife. Other days, I can take a few hours for myself and just do nothing but really focus on work. I make a lot of lists because it’s the only way I can keep things straight in my head. I’m not a very organized person for being uber work-obsessed. I struggle to keep it all organized because everything can become important and, when you have so many spinning plates, they sometimes can cancel each other out because you lose track of everything. Just knowing that there will be designated times for things… really helps. That’s the only way to do it. But I also think behind all of it, you have to really like [what you’re doing] because that provides this amazing motivation and you almost can’t stop.
What would you love to branch into next?
Gosh, I definitely have a couple of ideas. Some I probably can’t mention because they might actually happen and I would love to not speak prematurely of them. But I have about three things lined up that I’m working on.
What was it like re-teaming with Adam Sandler for the movie Blended?
It was great to re-team with Adam. I’m really only trying to do films every couple of years because it’s so ensconcing — the film making process. I felt like it was time and I started pestering him. I was like, “I think it’s either been like our ten-year mark or it feels like it’s been our ten-year mark, so let’s start finding the next thing!” Then, much to his credit, he found it. He was so excited about it because, truthfully, it was a great piece [considering] where both he and I are in real life. It’s really about family. I think we bring out the best in each other. We love working together. I’m never better than when I’m with him, I just love him so much. I love that we do things that are very male, but very female, and they’re comedic, but they also always tap into a certain realm of human emotionality. Even when we went high-concept in 50 First Dates, it’s about love. Everybody has to figure out love in their life. [Making Blended] was really emotional because it’s about family and it’s meaningful. It’s emotional, but it’s also really, really funny. There’s nothing better than when you make people laugh, but surprise them with the emotionality along the way. We had a great time making it and I hope people like it. I hope to do something with him every ten years. That would make me the happiest person on the planet.
The Drew Barrymore Breakfast Sandwich You’ll Want Every Morning
By Drew Barrymore for Refinery 29
The reason I started officially learning to cook was because when I first got pregnant, I had to face the sad fact that I didn’t even know how to boil an egg. No, really!
But, this was so not for lack of trying. I’ve always been one of those people who romanticized cooking, but the few attempts I’d made in my life resulted in friends’ contorted faces as they desperately tried to say something nice about the “dish” they were eating. Everything I touched in the kitchen turned out crappy, no matter how closely I followed the recipe or copied the cooking show. So, I just got discouraged and gave up. I can’t imagine I’m alone here. But, despite my disappointments, I still engaged in real conversations…the ones where I would talk a big game about how someday I would take legit cooking classes, learn the basics, and finally make my Le Creuset pots proud.
One more thing: I really did fantasize about becoming sexier in the kitchen once I’d mastered those culinary skills. But, because I was not relaxed, there was (and is!) no sense of effortlessness when it comes to cooking and me.
So, cut to me, baby on the way, and pleading with myself, “You just can’t make excuses to your kids that you can’t cook.” And so, I became determined to learn. Start with the basics and work from there. This was almost two years ago. And, truthfully, I am still only great at one-dish, one-course, one-pot meals. I love soups and pastas, slow-cooked pork tacos, and meatloaf. I am still intimidated in the kitchen, and, sadly, I am still not sexy in there either. However, I cook for my daughter, and (to my extreme delight!) she eats really well, from salmon and boiled chicken to fresh vegetables and pasta. She’s even enjoyed one of my made-from-scratch popovers — admittedly, they’re pretty addictive.
To read the full piece, visit Refinery 29.