Drew Barrymore Gets Candid About Growing Up As a Child Actor

“You never figure it all out.”

Drew Barrymore Gets Candid About Growing Up As a Child Actor
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Drew Barrymore is opening up about what it's like to grow up under the spotlights of Hollywood as a child actor.

In an interview with People in celebration of the publication's 50th anniversary, the talks how host discussed what it's like to be a movie star at a very young age.

"If I had tried to give advice to my younger self, I wouldn't have listened!" she told the publication. "When you're young, you think you know everything, and I was very stubborn and rebellious, so I not only didn't listen to advice, whatever advice I got, I just basically did the opposite."

The 50 First Dates star went on to say that if she would have listened as a young child actor, she would tell her former self that she "will be a good mom and she will really care about her kids."

merican child actress Drew Barrymore holds a bouquet of flowers as she attends the 40th Annual Golden Globe Awards in support of her film 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial', Los Angeles, California, January 29, 1983.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The actress first appeared in People on July 19, 1982, in honor of her role in the iconic film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg.

"I really parented myself, so I am not mad at my mom or dad. I was more disappointed in my own parenting," she explained. "I think kids really need to feel safe, and so when I see (this little girl), it's like the first time in my life where I think I'm finally figuring out what it really takes to take care of kids because I didn't know what that was when I was a kid."

Barrymore is now the proud mom of two daughters, Olive and Frankie, and touched on the possibility of her girls entering show business at a young age, too.

"My kids ask me all the time. They would love to be in film or on social media or sing," she said. "And I always just say: 'School plays, theater camp, everything, (yes). But (no to) being out there in the public eye.'"

When her children ask her how old they have to be in order to get their mom's stamp of approval, she said that while she knows her children "want an answer," she can't give them one. Instead, she went on to explain that it will "be a feeling and it's going to be when I think you're ready."

Drew Barrymore is seen outside "CBS Studio" on March 27, 2024 in New York City.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Barrymore also touched on her previous experience with substance abuse, and how empowered she feels to know that she is "not lost anymore."

"I may feel lost again at different moments, because you never figure it all out and it never all comes together," she continued. "You just keep finding things. And if you hold onto those findings, then you have this collection of wisdom and you don't feel as lost the next time. Your compass is a little more tuned in."

The actress and talk show host is not the only A-list star to open up about childhood fame. In a recent interview with Vogue and in conversation with Serena Williams, Zendaya said that she wished she would have gone to school instead of starring in Disney Channel's Shake It Up! as Rocky Blue at just 14 years old.

"I don’t know how much of a choice I had," she said. "I have complicated feelings about kids and fame and being in the public eye, or being a child actor."

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.