Drew Barrymore on her and Cameron Diaz's breaks from acting: 'It's fun to just shift gears'
Although Drew Barrymore wasn't directly inspired to take a break from acting by her bestie Cameron Diaz, she says they were both ready for something more, something different, when they made those decisions individually.
"I think that [Diaz] and I are the type of people that don't really want to make any declarations about where we're at," Barrymore tells EW while promoting not a new movie or TV project, but her partnership with Instead, a natural lawn care program.
"She could very well end up back in movies, but also maybe she won't and she'll still be totally happy," Barrymore continues. "I think both of us, we've been doing this our whole lives and we love what we get to do, and sometimes it's fun to just shift gears and bring something else to the forefront, and it's still awesome."
Barrymore says it was her love of journalism that inspired her to launch her eponymous talk program, The Drew Barrymore Show, in September. And while the coronavirus pandemic certainly complicated things, she persevered.
"The pandemic made shooting incredibly challenging," Barrymore says. "I have a lot of friends who have talk shows, ironically, and they've been giggling in the best way ever about what a crazy time this was for me to start the show. The truth is, I'll never know the difference."
She adds, "We shot a pilot/sales-tape-type of thing with a live audience in 2019 when our show got greenlit, and I think it would've been a totally different show. It probably would've fallen prey to some standard norms. Because 2020 happened, we couldn't view life in the same way, especially with so many tough lessons. I'm really glad we launched with all of this in mind. There were so many devil's advocates of why not to launch, specifically not being able to have guests nor a studio audience — two of the biggest components for a talk show. So I thought, 'Then it's time to discover what the TV of tomorrow is.'"
Being pushed into a challenging new space motivated Barrymore to think outside the box. Since launching, she's staged fun reunions with her frequent collaborator Adam Sandler and her Charlie's Angels costars Diaz and Lucy Liu.
No matter what happens in the future, she's enjoying this moment and feeling blessed that she has a job she's so passionate about during challenging times.
"I am really so grateful for all the love the show has gotten," Barrymore says. "It's been a game-changing two years for all of us humans on this planet. It's just such a privilege and an honor to have a job. I love journalism, conversation, and the news. I love the research and the homework, the watching and the listening. I'm obsessed with all of these things in real life. This is really a dream."
While Barrymore didn't need motivation from Diaz (whom she calls her "biggest inspiration") to re-evaluate her busy career as an actor, her friend has inspired her in other, greener ways.
"Cameron Diaz, one of my best friends who happens to have a very famous name — which is hilarious because none of us rolls like that at all, because we're so not fabulous — she inspired me to be more environmentally conscious," Barrymore says with a giggle.
"We've been friends since we were 14 and 16, but when we started working on Charlie's Angels, she began barking at me like a Doberman," she recalls. "'Stop running the water while you're brushing your teeth! Turn off your lights! Drive a Prius! Why do you drink out of a plastic cup?' When we did the pilot/sales pitch tape for the show, I got down on one knee and proposed to her that I would finally commit to being more environmentally conscious. I did all of this in honor of my best friend, who's been trying to wake me up about this for two decades."
Barrymore adds, "Maybe it took me having children to understand the importance of our planet, but I've made those changes and kept it going both at work and at home. I have her to thank for that because now I'm more conscious of my partnerships and what products I use. I live a very different life now."
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