USA TODAY’s Patrick Ryan sat down with Drew Barrymore to talk about her new talk show that will premiere live on September 14th on CBS.
Drew Barrymore is like everybody’s best friend. Or maybe that cool aunt who caught you smoking one time and never told your parents.
With a four-decade career spanning hit movies “The Wedding Singer,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” she’s somehow familiar yet larger than life, bringing unflagging optimism and humor to her social media, books and lifestyle brands.
“I’m like Norm from ‘Cheers,’ the guy who sits at the end of the bar: ‘You know me! Can I hang out?’ ” Barrymore tells USA TODAY. “I’m probably proof of, like, ‘You think you know me, and you do.’ I don’t hide anything. I am who I am. I’m flawed and imperfect and trying to get it right, just like everybody else.”
Her unguardedness and verve are key ingredients of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” a syndicated daytime talk series premiering Monday (check local listings). The New York-based show will air weekdays from a gold and peach-hued studio (for now, sans audience), and will feature a mix of live and pre-taped segments. Those include games, giveaways, comedy sketches, and the customary celebrity interviews, with former co-stars Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Adam Sandler among her first-week guests.
Barrymore, 45, taped a pilot episode last summer, shortly after the cancellation of her three-season Netflix zombie comedy “Santa Clarita Diet.” (“Everything happens for a reason,” she says.) The show enters an increasingly crowded daytime field, dominated by mainstays “Dr. Phil” and the embattled “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” as well as newer outings from Kelly Clarkson and Tamron Hall that debuted last fall.
Adding further pressure, “The Drew Barrymore Show” is launching during a global pandemic, as most daytime and late-night shows are only now resuming studio production after taping remotely for months. Rather than delay the premiere or tape from home, Barrymore says it was important to challenge herself and “turn every obstacle into opportunities,” which meant adapting the show for the COVID-19 era.
For starters, virtual “audience members” will be projected onto a giant screen at the back of the stage, where they can watch the show and interact with Barrymore in real time. Guests will appear in the New York studio from a safe social distance, or in a Los Angeles studio, where a 3-D green screen will beam them to Barrymore’s set in a chair directly across from hers.
“There were a lot of versions (of the technology) that looked like a video game, but this one was the most real, like absolute ‘Star Trek,’ ” Barrymore raves. “When you’re trying to think in a way that 2020 demands, you have to go with innovation. I’m already at home in my sweatpants. I’m not sure that’s of interest to anyone, knowing what that looks like.”
Further reflecting our current moment, episodes will open with a segment called “Drew’s News,” which gives viewers “a chance to look at the world through a positive lens that informs you a little bit,” executive producer Jason Kurtz told reporters during a recent Q&A. But the actress is keeping mum about her personal views on politics and current events, at least at the outset.
“I am sick of divisiveness and can find it anywhere I look,” she says. “I don’t want someone to feel like they’re not welcome here because of a political reason.”
Speaking of being welcome: Barrymore’s daughters – Olive, 7, and Frankie, 6, with ex-husband Will Kopelman – will be on set with her any chance they get, as long as they’re not in school.
“I try to make my life a playground for them,” says Barrymore, a descendant of Hollywood royalty. (Her grandpa and great aunt are actors John and Ethel Barrymore, respectively.) “They know I’m passionate about work, and work is a wonderful and necessary thing.”
A friend gave her “one of the best pieces of advice I ever got as a parent,” which is to “never speak negatively about our work because that’s going to have that association for them. So they can come to work if they want. They love what I do, and I’m happy to have them be a part of it in the right and appropriate ways. And that’s how I’m trying to figure out how to raise kids – there’s no rule book to any of this.”
Barrymore says she’s shown her daughters many of her old films, which they call “Mom Movies.” (Their favorites: “50 First Dates” and “Ever After.”) Olive even helped her tape a promo for the new talk show, in which Barrymore “interviews” her 7-year-old self, with footage taken from her appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1982. She sat in for her mom in the guest’s seat, before the old clip was spliced in.
“It was the perfect way for us to play in a safe and protective way because I’m a Doberman with my children,” Barrymore says. “They’ll have plenty of time to go out in the world and be who they are, and I just want to set them up with a foundation where I’m not like, ‘Here! You’re out there.’ I lived that life. I have different baggage than everyone else; I’m working from a different place.”
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/09/11/drew-barrymore-show-daytime-talk-parenting-interview/5755658002/
Find New & Used Cars
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe