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Drew Barrymore reflects about her parents and John Barrymore

"I love him not for who I wanted him to be, but for who he was," Barrymore said of her dad.
/ Source: TODAY

Drew Barrymore shared a candid post about her late dad, actor John Barrymore, and opened up about what it was like growing up with an unconventional and at times complicated father.

"My mom chose a wild card for my dad," the 45-year-old actress wrote in an Instagram tribute to her father, who died in 2004. Barrymore shared a throwback photo of her parents, John and Jaid Barrymore, out together one night before she was born.

John Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore shared a photo of her parents, John and Jaid Barrymore, from a night out in her honest Father's Day 2020 tribute. Frank Edwards / Getty Images

"He was a mad poet hedonist man child! But I understood that as a kid. Somehow I have zero baggage or dad issues," she said. "I think I would have liked to have a dad who didn’t look so out there. Or who stayed. Or was capable of anything really. But his wildness runs through me. His gifts are here. His demons to overcome are mine to break!"

Growing up, Barrymore said she was aware her dad was different.

John and Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore opened up about her relationship with her "wild card" dad in a Father's Day tribute.Time & Life Pictures / The LIFE Picture Collection via

"I love him not for who I wanted him to be, but for who he was. And as I look at all the photos of dads today, doing their dad job, sure, there is my tiny self that wished for him to fit in. But he never did. And I’m not sure I did either," she said.

Barrymore has been candid about her past drug abuse as a teen and the rocky relationship she also had with her mother. Now a mother of two to daughters Olive, 7 and Frankie, 5, Barrymore said she can look back at her childhood and see the lessons she carries on from her parents.

Drew Barrymore and daughter Frankie Barrymore Kopelman
Drew Barrymore and daughter Frankie Barrymore Kopelman attend the 2017 Society of MSK Bunny Hop in New York City.Gary Gershoff / WireImage

"Both my parents have played a major role in who I am as a parent. And none of it looks perfect. But it functions with so much love. And togetherness. And availability," she said.

While her Father's Day tribute might look different from other people's, Barrymore said she's proud of her story.

"I don’t have a picture of a dad today to show how great everything was. I have a picture to show what it was. And that is my story. And that is perfect in itself," she said. "My dad gave me the gift of life! A wicked sense of humor! And that wildness that I truly do cherish."