The actor, producer and entrepreneur discusses her Hollywood childhood, working less and her new book, Wildflower
David M. Benett—Getty Images
By Daniel D'Addario
October 29, 2015

Does getting your start as a child actor make your method different?

I can’t act for sh-t. I can’t fake anything. I’m terrible at it. With a Charlie’s Angels, that is so hard. In love, you can put on some kind of googly eyes, you can pretend it’s someone you’re attracted to. You cannot fake friendship chemistry.

What does it take to become one of two female five-time Saturday Night Live hosts?

I think I still have the record of most–and youngest, at 7! I love my SNL records. Did I just act like a 13-year-old boy with the trophy I got in Little League? But I think it’s important. Lightening the load for other people is a big deal.

You seem to have made peace with your mother after an estrangement. What did that take?

Forty years. It’s only recent that it feels as good as it does. It just took a lot of time: getting older, having my own kids, letting go of certain guilt and pain and resentments. We just didn’t have a very traditional relationship. Because it’s not normal doesn’t make us bad people.

You write that you didn’t want to call Wildflower a memoir. Why?

It just sounded heavy. I also really need chapter breaks in my life. I like to read in little vignettes. I wanted it to be stories, not a life story.

Has your taste in books changed?

I’m not sitting down with the dense classics. Now I’m like, “Oh, my God, 800 pages.” For 25 years, that was such a pleasure for me. Maybe that’s motherhood.

You write that you’re moving away from acting because you want to be there for your daughters. Does your husband feel the same way about his work?

We both are able to work from home a lot. Our dynamics, our jobs–at least my job–have shifted focus a lot, but we do really put our kids first. We are parents even more than husband and wife or worker bees. I got to live my own life for almost 40 years–37 years before my first daughter was born–and that was plenty for me.

Is there any role that would bring you back to the screen?

When something feels so passionate you get proprietary over it, that fire ignites inside–but nothing’s igniting my fire. I would really like to live a couple different lives in one lifetime. And I’d better hop to it!

You’re choosing to work less at an age when opportunities have the tendency to start drying up. Is Hollywood still sexist?

I always felt very lucky. I felt like for 20 years, I wanted to have this company and make films, and someone let us do it. We worked hard and kept our heads down and met all of our responsibilities and didn’t don a power suit or pretend we were someone else. So I never had that chip on my shoulder. I always felt like I’ve had such incredible opportunity and it was up to me to create it and fulfill it.

Makeup, eyewear, wine. What does the Drew Barrymore brand stand for?

Hopefully something that’s well made, most importantly. Something that’s very personal from me but not about me. I like things that are joyful and devoid of negativity.

Given that you went to rehab as a teenager, does selling wine send a mixed message?

What you experience at 13 is just a moment. Believe me, if I didn’t have to have everybody know about it, it would have been a quick moment. It feels like another lifetime ago. I figure I might as well not stop doing things that I love because I’m afraid of what people might think. I just think, Move forward. Don’t look back. Put one foot in front of the other.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

This appears in the November 09, 2015 issue of TIME.

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