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Drew Barrymore had a tumultuous childhood that resulted in the actor eventually being taken to rehab. Although she was in a much better place in her more mature years, there was one film that reminded her of the old days.

Drew Barrymore felt like she was back in rehab during this film

Drew Barrymore smiling at the Clooney Foundation For Justice Inaugural Albie Awards.
Drew Barrymore | Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Barrymore has been very candid about her experiences growing up. She fell into the trappings child stars sometimes do, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol when she was on the cusp of adolescence. Her mother, Jaid Barrymore, eventually put Barrymore in rehab at just the age of 13.

“When I was 13, that was probably the lowest,” Barrymore once told The Guardian. “Just knowing that I really was alone. And it felt… terrible. It was a really rebellious time. I would run off. I was very, very angry.”

It would take some time, but Barrymore ended up back on her feet. Years after being blacklisted in Hollywood for her behavior, she was able to make a solid comeback. But the 2009 television movie Grey Gardens managed to take her back to her childhood years. The movie was based on a documentary of the same name about the reclusive lifestyle of a mother and daughter. Barrymore decided to go method to play her role of Edith Beale. But getting too close to her Grey Gardens character felt like getting too close to her past.

“I got institutionalized as a kid, and I felt like I was back there. A lot of times I found myself unhappy and isolated, and the only other time I felt that way was when I was in there. It was absolutely trying to relearn to live. You are learning to become someone else,” she once told W Magazine.

Drew Barrymore felt that going to rehab was necessary

Going to rehab was an unpleasant experience for a young Barrymore. But looking back on it, she felt her mother made a tough but necessary decision to treat her addiction.

“But I realised, honestly, yeah, my mom locked me up in an institution. Boo hoo! But it did give an amazing discipline,” she said. “It was like serious recruitment training and boot camp, and it was horrible and dark and very long-lived, a year and a half, but I needed it. I needed that whole insane discipline. My life was not normal. I was not a kid in school with normal circumstances. There was something very abnormal, and I needed some severe shift.”

According to Today, Barrymore also felt fortunate that she dealt with her rebellious phase early. Doing so allowed the Scream actor to be a much more stable adult in the long run.

“I got my s*** over with at, like, 14. Like, midlife crisis, institutionalized, blacklisted, no family, like, got it done, and then got into the cycle of being my own parent, figuring it out,” she said.

Drew Barrymore doesn’t want her own kids to be child stars

Given her own experiences as a child star, it makes sense why Barrymore wouldn’t want her children to discover fame just yet. The actor has two daughters, both aged 9 and 10. Although they’ve already shown signs of continuing the family business, Barrymore would rather they wait until they’re a bit older.

“Not even a little. Not until they’re 18. I know it sounds crazy, but I want them to be kids. But I would by no means poo-poo a thing I love so much,” Barrymore once told People.