It is an uncommonly cold and rainy southern California afternoon, but inside the bedroom of Drew Barrymoreís West Hollywood apartment, it is warm and cozy. Filled with the smoky haze of burning jasmine incense, the flickering flames and dancing shadows of votive candles, and the soft, groovy sounds of Digable Planets, the room reflects the renewed sense of spirituality Drew says she has experienced since her broken engagement to actor Jamie Walters.
Set against the far wall somewhat lost among the piles of books on dream interpretation, stacks of unread scripts, and cornucopia of arts-and-crafts supplies, Drewís enormous kind-sized antique bed functions as the roomís command central. Spun from layers of feather and foam, the bed creates a cushion which Drew says protects her from the rest of the world. And sheís right. Sinking into it is like floating on a big, white, fluffy cloud.
Drew says Jamie broke off their engagement by phone three days before she was due to return to their L.A. home (she was in Vancouver filming The Amy Fisher Story). She asked him to wait until they could discuss breaking up in person, but by the time she returned home, Jamie had moved all of his things out. "Iíve never cared about another human being before like I cared about Jamie," say Drew, "but the amount of time we had to spend apart completely took its toll on us. We never saw each other, and things got worse and worse. Iíve never felt pain like this in my entire life."
After attempting to date for a few months while living apart, Jamie and Drew decided to call it quits for good. "I think what hurts the most when you get out of a relationship is all the security and comfort you give up," says Drew. "Jamie was the best friend Iíve ever had, and I miss that friendship. I hope after some time has passed weíll be able to be friends again."
For the time being, Drew is getting back in touch with herself. Besides working on her spiritual growth, sheís also rediscovering her sense of personal style. "I completely dressed in the grunge look when I was with Jamie," she remembers. "When we broke up, I burned all my flannels and started to dress like a girl again. I took all my old Agnes B. suits, bought some new dresses, and started wearing bell-bottoms with vintage jackets. I think my look is Ď40s meets Ď70s, and since I rarely go out at night anymore, I dress up wherever I go."
With her days as Hollywoodís youngest party girl behind her, the only club Drew likes hanging out in is Manhattanís Sound Factory. "I usually go there when Iím in New York," she says. "Itís fun because everyone is in their own world, and nobody bothers me there. Itís a place I can do my own thing and release about a yearís worth of tension in six hours of dancing."
At home, her current nocturnal activities usually involve reading, writing, sewing, doing spin art, and painting with acrylics. "After Jamie left, I lost every ounce of inspiration I had," says Drew. "Iíd sit in bed with a pen in my hand and stare at a blank piece of paper before saying ĎForget it.í Recently, itís started to come back, so Iíve been on a creativity binge. I spend two hours doing things like making clothes."
Drewís period of postbreakup introspection, as well as critical acclaim for her work in Poison Ivy, Guncrazy, and The Amy Fisher Story, has had a profound impact on the professional choices sheís making. "Iím moving away from playing nymphets," she explains, "and for now, I donít want to do anything sexual on screen. Iím grateful to have the opportunity to be selective, and Iím going to choose wisely."
Offscreen, perhaps the biggest choice currently facing Drew is what to do about her "Jamie" tattoo. "I havenít gotten it removed yet," she confesses. "Maybe finding he got his covered up will give me the incentive to do it. Not because Iím following him, but because that would be a true indication that itís time to move on. My mom is a total cynic about love, but I never was before Jamie. Now I understand her a little better."
From Seventeen, May 1993
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