Drew Barrymore Is Still Trying To Make One Director Proud

Drew Barrymore's favorite item in her dressing room is a framed photo of herself with Steven Spielberg from the set of E.T., a reminder to live every day in a way that the director would approve of.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

drew barrymore
Drew Barrymore in E.T.

The star of Charlie’s Angels has been acting since before she was one, starring in a dog food commercial at 11 months old, and as a result, her childhood wasn’t normal by anyone’s standards. The Hollywood Reporter recently shared a heartwarming anecdote from Drew Barrymore related to the man she considers the closest she’s had to a father: Steven Spielberg, the director of E.T. the Extra-Terrestial. Barrymore admitted she’s still working daily to make the director proud of her.

To that end, Drew Barrymore says that her favorite item in her dressing room is a framed photo of herself and Steven Spielberg from the movie set. The star explained the relationship: “Not having a dad, not having that kind of relationship with anyone, he was just so good and nurturing and kind.” Being honest to this extent is one of the many reasons Barrymore is now the host of the hottest daytime television show, yet she still wants her father figure to be proud of everything she’s accomplished.

The child star had a rough transition to acting as an adult, becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, partying too much, and not working hard enough. In a touching statement, she credits Spielberg with where she is now, “We still have a really wonderful relationship. I thank him because, had he not chosen me, I think my life would be really different. It’s crazy when you can really trace it back to someone.” Without his influence as a child star and getting her career started on the right foot, it may not have recovered in time for her to star in Scream, Charlie’s Angels, and then find her greatest co-star, Adam Sandler.

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Steven Spielberg

Following her famous melt-down on the set of David Letterman in 1995, Barrymore and Sandler starred together in 1998’s The Wedding Singer, which made over $125 million at the office against a budget of only $12 million, the first of multiple collaborations. In 2004 the pair starred in 50 First Dates, which made just under $200 million during its run, followed by 2014’s Blended, yet another success breaking $100 million. Throughout her long, award-winning career, Drew Barrymore kept trying to live up to a standard that Steven Spielberg would approve of, which motivated her to remain sober, working, and highly successful.

Before ascending to the top of daytime television, her last regular role came in Netflix’s cult-hit Santa Clarita Diet with Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, Natalie Morales, Skyler Gisondo, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. Starring as Shilea Hammod, a realtor who accidentally becomes an undead zombie hungry for human flesh, Drew Barrymore gave an amazing performance trying to hold onto a rapidly spiraling situation. Olyphant, as her husband, was the exact opposite of his most famous character, U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, featuring manic facial expressions in nearly every scene.

With blockbusters under her belt, a successful streaming series canceled before it could get a proper ending, and now the biggest talk show airing today, it’s likely that Drew Barrymore doesn’t have to worry about making Steven Spielberg proud of her.