Drew Barrymore Reveals Her Struggles with Postpartum Depression

October 24, 2015

Drew Barrymore is famous for her romcom movies as well as her sunny personality. Over the years she’s given many quotes about happiness like, “Be the best version of yourself, and smile and laugh while you’re doing it;” “There’s nothing like the power of a smile;” and, “I love levity. As crazy as I am, I just love to laugh!” She’s even known to have laughed at the age of 11 months while at her first audition when a dog bit her.

But it was no laughing matter when she recently revealed to People magazine that she suffered with postpartum depression after the birth of her second child, Frankie, at the age of 39. While the star returned to work, filming Miss You Already five months after Frankie was born, Drew shared that she experienced the depression for six months after the birth. Frankie is now one and a half years old.

“The second time, I was like, ‘Oh whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand.’ It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud,” the mom of two told the magazine.

Postpartum depression can occur any time in the first year after the birth of a baby. It shouldn’t be confused with the common “baby blues” symptoms that most moms experience the first week or so after giving birth–showing up as mood swings, weepiness, irritability, and anxiety. Postpartum depression’s symptoms, while similar, are more severe and last for over two weeks, and they can happen to new dads as well. Effective treatments include talk therapy, support groups, and in some instances antidepressants. It’s estimated that between five to 25 percent of women experience the disorder.

In fact, earlier this month, Nashville’s Hayden Panettiere entered a treatment center due to the disorder after the birth of her daughter, Kaya. Panettiere has been open about her struggles, sharing on Live! with Kelly and Michael, “When [you hear] about postpartum depression, you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child’–I’ve never, every had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”

Barrymore now insists she’s grateful for her postpartum depression because the experience taught her to live in the moment, to prioritize, and to not be anxious about matters that are beyond her control. “Not everything gets 100 percent all the time…I’ll do my best. I’m a workhorse, I always have been, I always will be. But work is very much second to my kids.” She has described her parenting style as having its flaws, saying, “I wish I were that all-home-grown-food perfect woman, but I’m not. I’m the mom with the kitchen on fire and food on our faces.” But still, she says she’s experiencing being a mom as “perfect and totally imperfect.”


When Auditions Turn Weird

April 7, 2013

Always expect the unexpected. We’ve heard this time and time again, but it’s never more relevant than in the acting game. When you first get into commercial and theatrical acting, you know you have to learn your lines, show up on time, be emotionally prepared for any particular role–and you know it’s a challenge to pull it off seamlessly. This is all stock and trade when you enter the field; but what’s rarely talked about is when things get weird. For the most part, what’s expected of you will be contained in the sides, or the casting director will alert you to the specifics of the role. But there are those times when you’re thrown a curve ball out of left field with some serious mustard on it. See, you don’t even understand what you just read! How unexpected is that?!

An informal survey of actors who audition consistently yielded the following anecdotes: “I was asked to get in a fistfight with my scene partner. They said to make it as realistic as possible without hurting each other. I left with a black eye!” Another unsuspecting thespian confessed she was mortified upon being asked to make out with an invisible love interest in a callback filled with male clients. And yet another actress was asked to wildly transform into a werewolf and then bite the crotch area of her acting partner.

While these scenes are not necessarily common, if you audition enough awkward situations will pop up. And you must to be prepared, because if you want the job, you need to be okay with a little embarrassment. Chase Benz, dance captain on Britney Spears’ Circus tour tells of a particularly challenging audition, “When I was 19, I was auditioning for a Nickelodeon show and I had to sing, dance and act. The director asked me to improvise in a 10-year-old’s voice and tell him what ingredients I would use to make the best ice cream dessert and why. That challenge threw me off big time! But I went for it—and I booked the job.” Drew Barrymore relates a similar story that pushed her to the limit, “Oh my God, I won’t say the movie, but they called me in on a Sunday with a casting assistant. They didn’t think I was worthy enough of even reading with the casting director. They did it in the basement, and it was a scene where I have to do this oral thing with this guy’s hand, and no one was there so I had to do it to myself. It was by far the most humiliating experience. I thought, ‘They think I’m such s–t that I’m here on a Sunday with the assistant, giving myself a finger in the mouth. This is a low point.’”

So, if Drew Barrymore isn’t above humiliation, then you, young thespian, certainly are not either. This is not to say you should do anything you’re morally uncomfortable with, but the rule of thumb is if you’re truly uncomfortable with an audition, you can always say no.

How about you; any stories of the weird, uncomfortable, cringeable variety? We would love to hear them!