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Drew Barrymore has been an actress since a young age — E.T., anyone? — but now she’s not only coming into her own as a producer, she’s diving into directing with Whip It. Drew dished to Parade.com about expanding her career, her issues with her estranged mother, and on what she’s really seeking in life.

“I started my production company because I hated waiting around for things to fall in your lap, because they usually don’t,” she says. “If you really want something to happen you have to go out there and make it happen for yourself, in a fun and progressive way.”

On Whip It:
“This film is so personal to me. I was in that sort of comfort zone in my producing life and I was just looking to executive produce it. I was pretty far removed. I kept getting in the rink and getting on this box with a megaphone so to speak, and seeing there is this great opportunity for this film to be this or that. For weeks I didn’t understand where all this passion was coming from and then suddenly I had this revelatory moment in the parking lot. It was like in that moment in Clueless: ‘I love Josh.’ I went, ‘I want to direct this film!'”

On her reputation for being carefree:
“I don’t know if I’m completely comfortable ever. Sometimes I can totally let go with complete abandon–sing and dance and run around and not care what people think about me. Still, there seems to be this ball of stress inside me that I can’t get rid of.”

On her love life:
“Sexual love is secondary to me right now. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life dedicating myself to love or the pursuit of love or the understanding of love. But for the last few years, my life just hasn’t been about that for me. It’s just not about the mother baggage. It’s not about the boy. It’s about something completely different, and it’s very refreshing. I’m trying to understand it and relish it.”

On her mother:
“I believe she will see the film [Whip It]. I believe she does feel pride in me. I did not do this movie to cleanse myself of the mother/daughter debacle that happened in my life. I have been much more objective about my childhood and my relationship with my mother in these last few years. I used to be more attached to all that.”

Exploring mother-daughter relationships through her films:
“I used to pull a lot emotionally from all the stuff with my family. But oddly, with Whip It and Grey Gardens, I didn’t have the emotional bones to pull from because my mom and I are separated. But those tumultuous, sort of scandalous aspects of a mother-daughter relationship–of course I had those with my mom, so I can bring a lot to the table in my heart and soul with that. But the things I have been trying to reach in these two projects are oddly separate from that–meaning the true understanding of the deeper complexities of a mother-daughter relationship. But this is more about me defining myself on my own terms.”

On letting go of her mother issues:
“I know it sounds strange, and how could this be true, but it’s just not about her; it’s about me and the things I wanted to accomplish and explore. You know what this is about?  It’s about discipline. It’s about doing things that you don’t know if you can pull off or not. I won’t deny that the baggage was there at one point. But these projects have not been about that baggage. It’s been about doing things for myself and by myself.”

On battling long-term sobriety:
“No, I’m not [completely sober]. And I don’t claim to be — quite the opposite. I’ve tried to find the balance. I hope it’s balanced.”

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