Drew Barrymore is being widely praised for her skills as a talk show host after her recent interview with Brooke Shields made a huge impact online.
In a segment that aired on Tuesday, the two former child stars sat down for a raw and vulnerable conversation about their shared experiences of being exploited and sexualized in the movie industry at a young age.
At one point in the conversation, Drew asked Brooke if she found that her experiences in childhood impacted how she felt when the #MeToo movement gained traction in 2017, prompting the two to get visibly emotional as they reflected.
“This is gonna seem like a very weird turn,” Drew said, sitting closely to Brooke on the couch. “But how did you feel about the Me Too movement, in the sense of, I didn't feel like I had a dog in that race.”
She continued: “I didn't feel like I could speak to it, because I experienced things that were so inappropriate at such a young age. ... We were children. How did that movement affect you? Did you feel like you could speak to it?”
In response, Brooke said she struggled in a similar way because she didn’t know where she “fell on the spectrum,” adding that she found it difficult to interpret her own experiences.
“I was made to feel culpable, but at the same time you victim-shame yourself,” she said, causing Drew to nod in agreement.
“We were so young and it was so ‘appropriate,’” she added, using air quotes around the word. “I couldn’t feel sorry. I didn't even know. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know.”
The Blue Lagoon star went on to say that when she was told that she had been subjected to so much inappropriate behavior, she fell into a state of denial.
Drew echoed this sense, adding that the experiences she had made it difficult for her to feel she could contribute to conversations surrounding #MeToo.
“I felt like I couldn't speak to the movement, and I was so happy that it was happening, but I felt like I experienced too many things that were so gray and so awkward and I didn't know were wrong at the time,” she said.
A clip of the interview was shared to Twitter on Tuesday and has since amassed over 8.2 million views and more than 22,000 likes.
Among the responses, many fans have praised the two actors for having such a “powerful” and nuanced conversation about the complicated emotions that can arise when processing inappropriate behavior or abuse.
“this is the side of #metoo that isn’t discussed enough,” one person wrote in response to the clip. “in order for us to participate and have the conversation we first have to deconstruct our life and acknowledge the horrible things that happened that we thought were ‘normal’ speaking up is never, ever free.”
“When things happen to us as children it’s easy to bury it, brush it off, put it in the back of your head,” echoed someone else. “Sometimes questioning if it happened because as adults it’s hard to remember and often too painful. There is also shame. You are both strong and inspiring women.”
Plenty of other users praised Drew for facilitating such a sensitive discussion, describing her intimate interviewing technique as “magical.”
“Drew is a revelation,” someone tweeted, praising her body language. “Look at how she centers Brooke, connects with her, draws out a new angle of a years old conversation. She does it in a way that doesn’t feel invasive. Truly, she’s remarkable. This is a gift.”
“Drew is made for this,” said someone else. “From her eye contact to her body language to everything, you know that she is locked in and really wants to make a safe space and she does it with the utmost care. I feel like she’d do this exact thing if the camera wasn’t there.”
In testament to Drew’s skill, lots of people noted that it felt as if they were witnessing a private conversation between two old friends.
“The wonderful and fascinating thing about Drew as a talk show host is she speaks to her guests as if there's no audience,” someone tweeted. “In her doing so, you don't feel forgotten or ignored, but like you've been allowed into an intimate space that requires the utmost respect.”
“Remarkable how Drew is facilitating so many open conversations that only ever happen behind closed doors, if at all,” someone else added.
The interview also prompted lots of people to reflect on how talk shows have evolved, creating safer spaces for intimate conversations.
“talk shows have come such a long way in the last decade,” someone wrote. “this conversation was so important for both of these ladies & thousands watching.. thank you”
“I don't think I realized how cold so many talk shows are until i saw Drew Barrymore be so intimate with her interviews. The sincerity radiates from her,” echoed another.