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Drew Barrymore, who has starred in countless films and began working in Tinseltown when she was just 11 months old, doesn't believe she's a good actor.
But first, let the 39-year-old beauty explain. In a new interview with the New York Times, the Charlie's Angels star and her cohost from The Essentials Robert Osborne opened up about their love of films from the past, their biggest mentors in the biz and the best advice they've ever been given as they forged their highly successful careers in Hollywood.
When asked to share the films which have shaped Barrymore the most, Olive's mama couldn't help but rattle off a rather long list.
"Pollyanna, Captains Courageous, Black Stallion, Foxes, um, Excalibur? I was, like, obsessed with Camelot and Excalibur and Anne of a Thousand Days—any double-VHS-giant double-Beta set of those films. I just loved the swashbuckling nature of them, I was obsessed," she shared. "I loved watching men in cinema, and I liked watching young girls, whether it was a Jodie Foster in Foxes or a Hayley Mills in Pollyanna. It could be squeaky clean and it could be super like L.A.- streets-gritty, but there was no barrier between. I liked older men and younger girls. That was what I responded to in film."
As for what movie just blew her mind?
"I think it changes every day. But today it's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? My jaw was on the floor when I was watching it because it was the definition of visceral," she said. "I thought it was the most compelling, upsetting, beautiful-to-look-at, in-your-face film, with no tricks whatsoever, except for beautiful camera work."
Mark Davis/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards
Will Kopelman's missus also shared her biggest mentor—Steven Spielberg, who directed the starlet in 1992's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial—and the best advice he has given her.
"Steven told me, 'Don't act your characters. Be your characters,'" Barrymore revealed, before saying she has "absolutely" followed his advice which is why she doesn't believe she is a "good actor."
"I feel like it's fake and yucky and it just doesn't ring true. But like Robert said, if you research and you study and make it personal, you just become that person, and it's your truth and everything else around you falls away," the thesp explained. "Then you're telling the truth, it's not lying, it's not fake. So he gave me that wisdom because at 6, I guess I was comfortable and more humorous than I would have remembered now. But once I got older and kept continuing acting, I don't know if I would have succeeded without that advice, because it's the thing that saved me. I'm not an actor, I'm a pretender."