Drew Barrymore showed up a bit late to Elle Decor’s fashion issue party, which took place last night at John Demsey’s impeccably designed Manhattan home. But because she is the sweetest (she actually has a heart-themed photography book coming out in January — you can’t make this up), she took a few moments out of her evening to talk to Vulture anyway. Here’s our lovely conversation with the lovely Drew Barrymore.
We’re asking everybody at this party, which features this beautiful décor, if you can remember your childhood bedroom and how you decorated that.
Oh, yes. I had KISS [posters], which gave me nightmares, and Blondie, the whole band, and Pippy Longstockings, and Superman.
That’s quite an array.
Lots of empowerment going on.
And these were posters you chose yourself?
Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Now in your current house, do you have any house rules that you enforce when you have guests over, like, “No shoes in the house,” “No red wine”?
Oh no. God no. Put your feet up anywhere, drink anywhere, I don’t really have coasters … you can use a book. I want people to be comfortable.
So you must have good parties, too, then.
I think so. I hope so.
I told John Demsey [who is standing there with her]: It’s probably not fair to ask what his house rules are, because we’re probably breaking all of them right now.
I’m certainly not an uptight home owner.
What’s the most unusual item in your home? Or something you could never part ways with?
God, that question stumps me; there’s so much stuff in my home. I’ve been refurbishing it for fourteen years.
Really? Is that because you’re indecisive, or … ?
No, it’s a labor of love, this great house that I have. It’s just really, really special.
So you’ve always been into design?
I’ve always been a homemaker, like I like creating spaces. Even if I stay in a hotel, I’ll unpack, I’ll put my books out, I’ll put my camera out, I’ll throw a sweater over the lamp to get better light. I am a homemaker. So it’s hard for me to answer that question about my home. I just have a lot of, you know – probably my dictionary collection. I have a lot of dictionaries.
You know you can do that on the Internet now, right?
I know, I know, it’s true. I even have an app on my phone and it just makes me sick every time I use it.
How often do you look up words in dictionaries?
A lot, it’s actually something I studied as a kid. I just love words.
Anything to do with acting?
No, I just think dropping out of school early I had to learn things that I was really passionate about and wanted to keep studying and I fell in love with the dictionary. Words are very powerful.
As a writer, I completely agree.
I still can’t spell anything, but I can bust out two-dollar words. My vocabulary is awesome; my grammar is shit.
It’s okay, that’s why there are editors.
Are you interested in writing?
Yeah. I have a book coming out in January, but it’s photography.
Your photos or something you curated?
Really, what’s in it? What can we expect from it?
It’s called Find It in Everything, and it’s just heart shapes I’ve found in things over the course of the decades.
Very nice. I love the little bit about the hotels — that’s hilarious. So you say you bring your own candles and stuff, but are you rearranging their stuff?
Sometimes a little bit, but mostly just decorative. I don’t really get into architecture in the hotel room. But maybe a little Feng Shui here and there.
Little casual reconstruction.
Just kind of make it mine immediately.
Well, thank you very much. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too. I liked your questions very much!