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Drew Barrymore: I was 'in a very dark and fearful place' after divorce

Acting was the last thing on Drew Barrymore's mind after she divorced her husband of three years in 2016, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise during a difficult time.

Barrymore, 43, opened up to Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY about her decision to accept a role on the Netflix horror-comedy "Santa Clarita Diet" while going through a trying time in her personal life.

"I was not looking for a job,'' she said. "I had actually stopped acting for several years because I wanted to raise my kids, but then a shift happened in my life and I was separating from their father and it was just a very difficult time.

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Drew Barrymore leans on positive lessons when faced with adversity

Play Video - 8:03

Drew Barrymore leans on positive lessons when faced with adversity

Play Video - 8:03

"I personally was in a very dark and fearful place, and then this script came along, and I was like, 'Yeah, I don't think it's a good time.'''

Barrymore and husband Will Kopelman announced in 2016 that they were getting divorced after getting married in 2012 and having daughters, Olive, 5, and Frankie, 3.

Barrymore talked to good friend Chelsea Handler on her Netflix show in 2016 about feeling like "the biggest failure" after the end of her third marriage and the "shameful" thoughts that came with it.

Despite her initial reservations about accepting the role in "Santa Clarita Diet," getting back to a Hollywood career that began when she was a child proved to be therapeutic.

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Drew Barrymore on playing a zombie mom on 'Santa Clarita Diet,' and being a real mom off set

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Drew Barrymore on playing a zombie mom on 'Santa Clarita Diet,' and being a real mom off set

Play Video - 5:50

"Ironically I think it taught me a valuable life lesson, which was sometimes when you think something is the worst timing and the worst idea, it can actually become a thing that saves you and pulls you out and gives you a new focus and empowerment, and switches your constant stuck way of thinking and feeling and put it into something else that might actually get you to a healthier place faster,'' she said.

Barrymore and Kopelman remain in a healthy place since the divorce, as the two got together with their daughters this past Christmas for a fun family holiday in Idaho.

#coparenting #kidsnaping Yay successful Xmas morning

A post shared by Drew Barrymore (@drewbarrymore) on

Raising daughters has Barrymore knowing the day will come when her girls learn about some of her days as a Hollywood wild child who had issues with drugs and alcohol at a young age.

"When my kids figure out some of the things I did in my childhood, I'm like, 'Yeah, and that makes me all the more insightful to when you're pulling crap on me,''' she told Geist. "I was born for teenage girls. You are my karma and don't worry, I know everything you're up to.

"I'm basically in my 80s and I've seen it all darling. You ain't pulling the wool over my eyes."

Before she has to worry about their teen years, Barrymore is enjoying the time with her daughters now.

"They've made me such a calmer, better person,'' she said. "I'll never take the tone with them of work is bad, my past it bad, life is bad. This is the adventure and journey we're on, but you have to be nice, and safe."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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Drew Barrymore spills secrets of horror-comedy show 'Santa Clarita Diet'

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Drew Barrymore spills secrets of horror-comedy show 'Santa Clarita Diet'

Play Video - 4:30

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