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Drew Barrymore’s Past as a Child Star Struggling With Addiction Still Makes Her Feel Like an Outcast

With Drew Barrymore’s new talk show The Drew Barrymore Show, we’re seeing the Charlie’s Angels star as we’ve never seen her — and that’s saying something for an actress who’s been on screen since age 5. While Barrymore has built herself a beloved following through quirky romcoms like Never Been Kissed, He’s Just Not That Into You, or Music and Lyrics, there was a time — shortly after her career began — that the star thought it was over forever. Barrymore has previously opened up in memoir Wildflower about how Hollywood cast her aside when she began to struggle with addiction, falling into substance abuse as early as 9 or 10 years old. But in a new interview about her talk show, Barrymore admits just how much that exile affected her, and that she’s still sometimes surprised anyone would agree to come on her show.

'Wildflower' on Amazon $12.99 on

Barrymore talked to The Sun about how grateful she was to have these opportunities now, and why she didn’t think it would be possible for her to take them for granted.

I don’t know how I ended up here but I will never lose sight of how lucky I am. Being blacklisted at 12, I appreciate every job I have,” Barrymore says. “I know what it’s like to lose and work for things and be so lucky and have the opportunities I have and everything in between. I don’t think there’s much to hide at this point.”

In and out of rehab in her teen years and struggling with alcohol, self-harm, and suicide attempts, Barrymore wrote in her memoir that the industry “just wrote [her] off as damaged goods,” adding: “I, sadly, understood that.”

And some of that self-deprecation lasts to this day, with Barrymore insisting she doesn’t feel entitled to anything just because she may have been doing this a long time.

“I’m honored anyone will come on the show,” she admits. “I’m not an assuming person. I’ve been in this industry my whole life but I’m just as excited to be around people of note as anyone would be.”

Any number of stars would be lucky to appear on Barrymore’s show, which has already been hailed for intimate interviews with Paris Hilton, Barrymore’s ex-husband Tom Green, and more. Hopefully, Barrymore continuing to speak out about her history as a child star will raise awareness about the dangers of Hollywood culture that treats its talents as disposable, and normalize that addiction affects everyone, and recovery is possible.

Barrymore is an inspiration on so many levels. We only hope she inspires herself half as much as her adoring fans.

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Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction.
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