Drew Barrymore Opens Up About Overcoming Her Troubled Childhood, Running Her Beauty Empire, Finding Work-Life Balance, and Why Women Can¹t Have It All

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Drew Barrymore has come a long way since her breakout role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. From publishing a memoir on rehab, her absentee mother and abusive father when she was just 15, to producing movies like Charlie’s Angels and Donnie Darko, to her current role as a beauty mogul who’s involved in every aspect of her company, Flower Beauty, Drew is someone who has invented herself into more incarnations than her petite, just-turned-40-year-old body should be able to account for. In the February 2015 issue of MORE magazine, on newsstands Jan. 27, Drew opens up about overcoming her troubled childhood, running her beauty empire, and finding work-life balance as a mother.

Check out the highlights from the interview below.

On the idea of women having it all:
“I’ll get in trouble for it, but I’ll say it anyway: Women can’t do it all. Quantum physics actually says you can’t do it all. Like, you can’t do everything at every minute of every day; it’s actually not mathematically, molecularly plausible. [However,] I do think that women can do everything they want to do, especially if they work hard enough at it. I don’t believe anything comes easy. You have to earn everything in life.”

On her work-life balance:
“I love the beauty industry because even on a workday I can wake up with my kids, go to work, come home, bedtime—there’s a normal life there. And it’s exciting when you have to go on a business trip, as opposed to a film where you’re gone for months. I can’t do that right now. As you add more onto your plate, particularly family, things have to fall off, or you won’t be a good parent.”

On why she stepped back from her acting career:
“Because the hours are too crazy [and] my phone isn’t ringing off the hook with great parts.” But she filmed the upcoming drama Miss You Already with Toni Collette because “Toni us one of the greatest actresses.”

On her childhood:
“I was a happy, blithering idiot. I don’t know how to feel differently about it because I don’t know what another life would be like, so it’s hard to pretend or imagine or wish that it was different because it isn’t. Even if I was a bad girl at moments here and there, I was never a bad person.”

On being a good mother:
“I didn’t really have parents, you know? And therefore the kind of parent I will be is a good, present parent. In a way, maybe that was a detriment to my youth, but it’ll be the biggest asset to my adulthood.”

On her relationship with her mother:
“[I] look after her. That is how I feel good about [our relationship].”

On the best advice from her father-in-law and Chanel CEO Arie Kopelman:
“Everything is school. He tells me to look around and see what I see, but more importantly to see what I don’t see.”

On insisting that she serve as both a spokesmodel and a creative director on her 2007 CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara ad:
“I couldn’t clock something in. Doing something that’s true to women and makes us all feel good is important to me.”

On her high- and low-brow tastes:
“I’ve never been a big designer-label person. [Someone got me some fancy Cheddar cheese and] I was like, this is too jazzy for my taste buds. I could tell it was from the fromagerie, and I was like, no, I just want some good old supermarket Cheddar. I still love a fistful of flowers from the side of the road, but I’ve also come to love ornate flowers. I love the marguerite daisy, but I love a peony, too, and one’s five cents and the other is $5.”

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