Jennette McCurdy and Drew Barrymore Bond Over Trauma

Drew Barrymore pulled no punches while interviewing Jennette McCurdy during her appearance on her show

“Does someone have to die in order to be able for us to tell our truth?” Was one of the first questions she asked the former iCarly star. Jennette McCurdy appeared on Barrymore’s show as part of her book tour. McCurdy released her bestselling memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died in August, telling the story of how she grew up as a child actor and only began to heal after her mom’s death.

In the interview, she discusses where she found her strength to share the story and change the narrative to move forward. “Us who grew up without a certain type of love, have more of it to give,” Barrymore said during the interview.

Barrymore and McCurdy have similar pasts: child stars who experienced first-hand the darker sides of the entertainment industry. By the time Barrymore was 15, she had stayed for 18 months in a psychiatric hotel, gone to rehab, and become legally emancipated from her mother.

In her memoir, McCurdy finally opens up about the harassment she faced on set, and the abusive behaviors she endured at the hand of her mother. Some of these included control over her eating and personal relationships for most of her early and teenage years. 

Jennette McCurdy and Drew Barrymore

@ The Drew Barrymore Show

McCurdy recalls that she had put her mom on a pedestal for a long time and couldn’t open up to her therapist about what was going on until she realized her mom was abusing her. The conversation explores the differences between guilt and shame and concludes that the former could be helpful, while the latter could keep you stuck.

Jennette stated shame is a useless emotion that resonated with much of the audience. Shame paralyzes people and prevents them from being successful. But, she also stated that if saying the truth of the situation ends a relationship, perhaps that’s a relationship that probably needed to end.

They also talk about the fear of having children after experiencing harmful relationships with their respective moms, with Barrymore being a mother of two and McCurdy having no children.

While it might seem like heavy-handed topics for a daytime TV show, Barrymore has been talking similarly deep interviews ever since she launched the show and the audience praised Drew’s insight, wisdom, and tenderness on breaching complicated topics.

For example, she interviewed Paris Hilton in September 2020 about solitary confinement as a teen and Demi Lovato in April 2021 about her struggles as a child star. More than a gossipy conversation, her exchanges seem like therapy that takes the weight off their shoulders.

Watch the full interview with Jennette McCurdy & Drew Barrymore on Complicated Relationships with Mothers here.