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January 6, 2014

The Rebel Next Door

Name any youthful indiscretion and chances are Drew Barrymore has been there, done that. With scandal in her rearview mirror, the girl-all-grown-up still just wants to have fun.
Behind the Cover: Fashion | Behind the Cover: Beauty

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Photo Credit: Photographs by Jan Welters

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Kargman says Barrymore reminds her of their mother, who would pull exquisitely roasted lamb from the oven while wearing ballgowns: "That combination of glamour and homeyness is so Drew!" The familial comparison brings tears to Barrymore's eyes. Over lunch at the decidedly old-fashioned joint The Musso & Frank Grill—a favorite of her grandfather John Barrymore, whose Hollywood star sits outside the entrance—she confesses, "I don't know anybody in my family of origin. The other day someone asked me what my mother's mother's name was, and I was like, 'No idea.'" In the dim light, Barrymore resembles her famous kin, with a gently sloping face and the bow lips of a 1930s screen gem. She says she feels of a different time, and though dressed in a white quilted "$19 Princess Leia–looking tunic from Topshop" and jeans, Barrymore rhapsodizes about pouring herself into a gown and teasing her hair into a giant beehive.

"When I was a kid, everything was so unplanned, my parents were so erratic," she says, "and my world was so inconsistent." Her childhood was indeed the stuff of sad Hollywood legend. Drug addiction and rehab at 13. Suicide attempt at 14. Emancipation at 15. A Playboy cover at 19. Even by modern standards, Barrymore's youth makes Miley's look downright chaste. "I was 14 when I moved into my own apartment," she recalls over spaghetti and meatballs. "I was so scared. I didn't know anything. I didn't know you had to throw food out when it rotted in the fridge. I was convinced someone was going to crawl through my window. I would go to the Laundromat and sit there reading Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath."

When it is suggested that living alone at such a vulnerable age seems extraordinarily tough, Barrymore smiles. "I was lucky," she clarifies. "It wasn't, 'Boo-hoo, poor girl all by herself.' It was, 'Good for you, kid! You got out. Now make something of yourself!'" The kid took her own advice, somehow managing to overachieve while maintaining her sense of whimsy and goodwill. To date, she has appeared in 49 films; her next, the stepfamily rom-com Blended (her third picture with Adam Sandler), comes out in May. She also started Flower Films in 1995, a production company whose movies have grossed more than a half-billion dollars and which she runs with cofounder Nancy Juvonen, who is married to Jimmy Fallon.

"Drew was 19 when we started," Juvonen marvels. "At the time, she was coming out the other end of her family stuff. We had literally no experience. Every day we were heading right into the ditch." Nobody in Hollywood expected much—especially, says Juvonen, not from "that cutie Drew and her 'bestie,' even though I'd met her only once." The two persevered, largely due to Barrymore's chutzpah. "Drew is a little go-getter," says Juvonen. "It was like, 'Hey, we are two great chicks! Let's dive in and swim!'"

Last year, Barrymore took another leap of faith, launching the award-winning Flower, a line of more than 200 cosmetic products sold at Walmart. No mere celebrity figurehead, Barrymore helps develop the products, oversees marketing, and hosts naming parties with her girlfriends where they test lipsticks and drink wine. (Barrymore wine, naturally—she created a pinot grigio inspired by her trips to Italy.) "With films, I tried to please men and women," she says, "and this is much more about the woman, which is nice. What's gonna make her happy? What's gonna give her a little giggle?"

Barrymore has always been the consummate girl's girl, the BFF we all wish we had—fun, funny, never competitive or petty, willing to act a fool and hand you the Kleenex box. "She is the opposite of a diva," attests Kargman. "She is never 'dicks over chicks.'" Juvonen agrees: "We became sisters."


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