Every job has its unexpected tasks — duties not mentioned in the job posting or during the interview. One unfortunate part of being famous is you have to spend a good chunk of your life talking to journalists. They may bug you with nosy, sometimes close-to-sociopathic questions; your answers, made of words you may not recall uttering, then wind up in print forever. But few interviews are as unfortunate and bizarre as the new Drew Barrymore profile found in a recent issue of the in-flight magazine Egypt Air.
The piece was caught by political analyst Adam Baron, who posted a screengrab on Twitter along, promising that it was “surreal.” He wasn’t kidding: It’s a riot of blatant inaccuracies, comments by the writer that are by turns intrusive and rude, inventive grammatical errors, and quotes that seem to have been translated into another language then re-translated back into English.
For example: At one point the interviewer tells the Santa Clarita Diet actress that she appeared to have gained some weight after her last pregnancy (classy!), but that she has “returned to [her] previous graceful body” (nice save). Barrymore replies, supposedly (while smiling, also supposedly):
I feel overwhelmed when someone tells me that I have regained my image and managed to lose that extra weight, especially that I felt depressed due to the significant increase in my weight after delivering [her youngest child] Frankie. However, I find this a great opportunity to encourage every woman who is overweight to work on regaining her body and body, especially that it is not as hard as one may think…
Far more unnerving is the intro, in which the author combines lies with attempts at cruel armchair analysis based on same:
It is known that Barrymore has had almost 17 relationships, engagements and marriages; psychologists believe that her behavior is only natural since she lacked the male role model in her life after her parents’ divorce when she was only 9 years old. Ever since that time, she has been subconsciously seeking attention and care from a male figure; but unfortunately things do not always go as planned and she has not yet succeeded in any relationship for various reasons.
Barrymore’s team told the Huffington Post that the actress and filmmaker “did not participate” in the piece.
Not so says the piece’s author, Aida Takla O’Reilly, former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who took to Twitter to defend her piece, while spelling Barrymore’s name wrong (because, she later said, she was dictating the tweet, which is never a smart idea when defending your honor):
Thing is, it probably is real. A lot of HFPA’s interviews aren’t one-on-one but done in groups. In those cases, the journalists get to use all the quotes, even to questions they didn’t ask; sometimes they pass them off as one-on-ones, even when they clearly weren’t. Even if O’Reilly really did get a one-on-one, it was likely buried in a long junket day, which celebs tend to barrel through while zoning out, eventually just saying words until they can clock out. Throw in the fact that this was for Egypt Air, meaning it was probably translated then re-translated, and you get the hot mess that is this “interview.”