Drew Barrymore grew up in front of our eyes. We’ve followed her ups and downs, and downs and ups. We’ve marveled at her endlessly sunny disposition through it all.
The Santa Clarita Diet star, 42, is as effervescent as ever talking to Yahoo Celebrity about being the face of the new Crocs “Come as You Are” campaign, which emphasizes being comfortable in your own shoes. Barrymore, who describes herself as “definitely a come-as-you-are kind of person,” gushes about the brand’s “joyful message” of “optimism,” especially in a time when there’s a “tremendous divide” in the world politically.
Of course, we had to know if Barrymore could pinpoint the time she started to feel comfortable in her shoes — whether it was turning 40, becoming a mom, or, heck, dancing on David Letterman’s desk at 20. It turns out she was born that way.
“I’ve always been comfortable in my own shoes — ever since I was a kid,” Barrymore says. “In some ways, it’s a curse to grow up with so much craziness around you,” referring of course to her much-documented parental woes and addiction issues. “On the other hand, it’s such a blessing to grow up in an environment that is so encouraging of playfulness. I always felt as a kid that it was OK to be myself — even if my job was to play other people, which is sort of an oxymoron. I never had a 20 or midlife sort of like: Now I finally feel comfortable. For better or worse, I came out of the womb very [hums: nanananaaa]. I’ve always just been unable to be anything but myself.”
But, seriously, with all the stuff that’s happened in her life — most recently the end of her third marriage, to Will Kopelman, with whom she has daughters Olive, 4, and Frankie, 2 — how does she remain so sunny? Commitment to the cause.
“I think that it’s a choice. Happiness is a choice,” Barrymore says. “Some days I’m just naturally magnetically pulled to it, and some days I have to work harder on being happy.” But each day, she’s chasing that rainbow. “Whether it’s an easy choice you make, or you had to go through hell … and it feels like a real struggle to get there … every day presents a different level of how easy it is to attain or how much you have to fight for your happiness. But I think always having that goal is anything but whimsical or hippie-dippie. It’s pleasurable for other people to be around. You’re going to be happier inside of yourself. Happy is good!”
Staying positive is especially challenging these days in light of the political climate, which the ad campaign points out. Barrymore, who was a Clinton supporter, says she tries to find the optimism wherever she can.
“I am very inspired to see everybody rallying as much as they are,” says Barrymore, who was at the Women’s March in January, which left her feeling full of pride. “Out of difficult times comes such amazing humanity and protesting and coming together and organizing, great music, great art. Heroes rise in this time. So, yes, I think that is what I go to.”
She continues, “I want to see what people are doing proactively. I think that’s something that never sat right with me. If you’re not comfortable in your skin, if you don’t like what’s happening around you, don’t stay stuck in it. Do something about it. Be proactive. Get on your feet and make a move. I think always putting one foot in front of the other will have at least the beginning of a momentum that will send you in some direction — and hopefully the right one. But staying stuck and idle is never a good choice.”
Drew’s younger daughter, Frankie, marched as well, on her dad’s shoulders, carrying a sign that memorably said, “I like unicorns and reproductive health care for all.” The actress is doing her best to make them aware of what’s going on in the world by showing an interest herself — and not being scared to discuss things with them in an age-appropriate way.
“Kids see it everywhere, so you just try to speak to them about things that aren’t going to completely scare them but invigorate them,” she says. “I never have the news on in my house, but my kids see me reading the New York Times every morning in my bed as we’re starting our day. I like that they know that I’m interested in the news and what’s going on. So that’s a nice analog way to show them first thing in the day. I like going back to the old world of newspapers — I find them so romantic.”
Drew and her girls:
Barrymore describes herself as a “traditional” mom, which is the opposite of what she had growing up. Her kids occasionally appear on her Instagram feed, but she’s trying to give them the most normal life possible as she co-parents with their father. That’s why she was shocked when, after bringing Frankie to a charity event last month for Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, which supports cancer research programs, it generated big headlines, including on Yahoo.
“That kind of freaked me out,” she says. “That really blew up. I wasn’t expecting that. We were just attending a charity event. I’m very protective of them and don’t put their faces out there.” However, her takeaway was, “You can’t control everything, especially when you are trying to participate in something that’s very lovely. I just try to be as protective as I can be, knowing that I can’t control every single moment. So I do the very best I can to keep them as private and safe as possible.”
Barrymore couldn’t control a recent trip to Disneyland, where her overtired daughter Olive ended up “like a crazy pancake on the floor.” Her friend documented the moment, and Barrymore shared it with Seth Meyers as a reminder than a sense of humor is everything, when it comes to parenting.
Drew talking about her most recent Disney trip:
“I’m one of several parents whose kid is writhing on the floor after a long day of trying to run to everything, skipping the nap, and trying to make the most out of the day,” she says. “Your child usually will end up like a crazy pancake on the floor, but that’s Disneyland and it’s so fun and I can’t wait to go back and do it again.”
And there will be more pancake photos to be had. “It will be my third run, and I’ll look forward to the third picture [of Olive melting down]. I have a series of photos of Olive on the floor at Disneyland and I can’t wait to add to the photo album. It’s hilarious. You have to have a sense of humor when your child is melting down sometimes. Guide them into a good place and be able to giggle a little bit too.”
Being able to giggle a little bit is what attracted Barrymore to the Crocs “Come as You Are Campaign,” which she says has a “joyful” message.
“It had a lot of optimism,” she says. “All the campaign ideas were just fresh and happy and smiling. Crocs is an optimistic brand that is very universal, very comfortable, very fun, very welcoming. For me, my kids wear Crocs, I wear Crocs. It’s for the whole family. I tend to like things that are a joyful message — and also economically speaking, everyone is invited to this party, that is very important to me. Everything about it just appeals to who I am.”
And since she’s become a mom, comfy footwear is an essential for her lifestyle.
“I definitely need comfortable shoes, that’s for sure. That’s 101,” she says, when asked about how her personal style has evolved. “I’m a little funky and eclectic and bohemian, which I’m glad for because I like vintage pieces or mixing prints and patterns still. When you become a mom, you wonder if you have to become conservative in the way you dress, because I’m certainly very traditional in my values with them. But I’m glad I can still rock three different patterns all over my body while being a good mom.”
And a good mom she is — as well as an endlessly sunny spirit.
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