Elle’s May Cover Girl, Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore has changed.

The first time I met her, she was still in the full flush of a five-year relationship with Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, and she oozed girlish exuberance. She arrived for our interview, tiny and ultracute in her parka and Uggs and bearing Starbucks lattes and thanking everyone in sight for every minor consideration, and everyone melted. When I remarked on her apparently persistent habit of happiness despite the many twists and turns of an endlessly chronicled life, she beamed, as though discovering the concept for the first time: “I love happiness!” she cried.

Well. To a jaundiced eye, the whole act—if that’s what it was—might have seemed contrived, and yet, it was physically impossible to stay cynical about Drew Barrymore. She was an irresistible force: not only cute and sexy, but relentlessly candid and self-deprecating and funny and…well, just fun. The hug and kiss she dispensed at parting seemed like a benediction: Go and be happy.

Two years later, when Barrymore enters the room—her office in the West Hollywood headquarters of her production company—she comes neither bearing gifts nor wreathed in smiles. She seems, quite markedly, a different person: more womanly, thinner in face and body, her eyes and cheekbones more prominent. There is a faintly wary quality about her.


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