In a new interview with ET's Kevin Frazier, the 46-year-old actress explains why she "purposely" has stayed out of the #FreeBritney conversation, until now.
"I feel that there's a human being at the core of this. But since she put herself out there more ... she's the key to her freedom," Barrymore says. "This is about her and her life and everybody deserves the freedom to make mistakes or a success of their life and everything in between. That is what a life is."
"So whether it's about her or anyone else, I want people to have their civil liberties; to have the freedom to live their lives," she adds.
Up until now, Barrymore says she's been supporting Spears "silently." She tells ET she didn't feel it was right -- especially not knowing her personally -- to address the pop star's situation on social media.
"I think one of the things I thought that I could [do to] respect her the most is not Instagram about it, and not talk on social media. This is too big for that," she explains. "But I also think on the other side of the coin, the noise had to be made in order to start to have change here. Social media is a very tricky animal. It can lead to great outcry and people listening, and it can also be a place that has a little bit of empty calories."
Barrymore previously shared on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show back in February that she had "so much empathy" for Spears. "It's hard to grow up in front of people. It's just hard," the actress, who was put in a psychiatric hospital by her mother, Jaid Barrymore, at the age of 13, said at the time.
These days, Barrymore is all about putting herself out there and being vulnerable for her fans. Her goal for season 2 of her hit talk show, The Drew Barrymore Show?Keeping it real.
"When we decided to take this endeavor on, and I was lucky enough to get the job ... I said, 'This feels to me like we're gonna come into a time where we can't look at everything through a celebrity lens. We have to open this up and talk to everyone in life,'" she tells ET. "I want to be as excited to talk to someone I've never met before as someone I've known about my whole life. Because that's who I am, and I think that's where the world is absolutely headed."
Barrymore says that the first week of her premiere for the all-new season will be filmed in her hometown of Los Angeles, and she couldn't be more excited about all the changes that are coming.
"We're really making this from our hearts. We thought, 'There is no place like home,'" she teases. "The pandemic changed our relationships with our homes. Our home is a much more meaningful thing, if you are lucky enough to even have the roof over your head. So I wanted to get into the theme of hometown. There's no place like home, where are you from, what does it mean to you, how has it affected the person you are?"
"As much as I love L.A. and New York, I've spent so much time inside the country, traveling, living, being stationed in different cities for months at a time due to work. I know the inside and out of this country so much that for me I really wanted to be able to explore everywhere," she continues. "This is about reaching everyone in this country and saying, 'What is it about your hometown that means something to you?'"
Season 2 of The Drew Barrymore Show kicks off Monday, Sept. 13. Hear more in the video below.