In an energetic speech at Variety’s Power of Women event Thursday night, Drew Barrymore praised those who prioritize action over words, encouraging everyone to “get down on the god damn floor” and help those in need.
While speaking about her charity of choice, World Central Kitchen — which provides meals to victims of natural disasters — Barrymore expressed her admiration for founder José Andrés and all the “scrappy people” who are ready to band together at any moment.
“When I look at José Andrés, the reason I’m drawn to World Central Kitchen is because he says, ‘I’m sorry, but tomorrow is not OK. It’s today.’ And I love those scrappy people! I have always been one of those scrappy people. If you see somebody like doing this,” Barrymore said as she physically got down on the floor, “get down on the god damn floor with them, and start picking stuff up! Just get in there and do it.”
Barrymore also addressed the Supreme Court’s drafted decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying that she “couldn’t stop crying” on Wednesday, but her daughter Olive gave her hope for the future.
“The last, obviously, 24 hours, as in the last two years, as in maybe since the beginning of time we’ve been living in a fight or flight state. And yesterday I couldn’t stop crying at just everything and the state of the world,” Barrymore said. “And today, my daughter walked in and she said… ‘Mom, I have a mission.’ And she read me a four-page speech that she wrote and she’s going to crusade to lower the age of voting rights to 16. And she spoke about women’s rights and I just sat there with my jaw open, just so relieved, so happy that she is this person.”
Barrymore was introduced to the stage by Jimmy Fallon, who led the audience through many memories of their friendship.
“As much as she empowers and inspires women through her work, she also supports the men in her life, because she’s given me some roles during my career as well,” Fallon said. “We did a movie with the Farrelly brothers, called ‘Fever Pitch,’ which was not only a great experience… but it’s where I met my future wife — Drew’s producing partner who she dared to start Flower Films, Nancy Juvonen.”
Since launching “The Drew Barrymore Show” in 2020, Barrymore has found success on the other side of the interview table, marking a new era in her fruitful career as an actress and producer. She’s made her mark on the talk-show format with buzzy video clips and hilarious exchanges that showcase her famously bright personality.
In her Variety cover story, Barrymore said she’d love to have Britney Spears as a guest on her program, after the pop star called Barrymore and Kate Hudson “by far the two most beautiful people I have ever seen in my life.”
“We can have a unique conversation,” Barrymore told Variety. “There’s not a ton of us out there who have publicly lost our freedom, had breakdowns in front of everyone, become punchlines and fought our way back.”
Held at the Glass House in New York City, the Power of Women event honored the women of Hollywood who have made an impact through their philanthropic endeavors and professional achievements. Barrymore’s fellow honorees include Kim Cattrall, Queen Latifah, Amanda Seyfried, Venus Williams and Camila Cabello.
Watch Barrymore’s full speech above.