Day by Day: Private Lives of Hollywood's Supertykes
updated 11/12/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 11/12/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
Ricky Schroder and mother Diane go round and round over one of her rules. He is never allowed to go anywhere alone. Period. His publicist, Jeff Ballard, says the last time he took Ricky to a movie an usher started knocking him around, snarling, "Who do you think you are?" Then there's the Jesus freak who writes Ricky letters and periodically shows up at his family's homes in Connecticut and Los Angeles with offers of eternal life. "It is very difficult for some adults to see a kid who makes a couple of million dollars a year and who, in their eyes, has everything," says Ballard. Just how much Ricky makes, Diane won't say. His holdings, she explains, are "very diversified."
Diane feels showbiz has given her boy a running start on reality. "Everyone on Silver Spoons is nice," concedes Diane, but she says the producers would drop Ricky in a second if he, or the show, weren't succeeding. Another plus is discipline. "Ricky always has to be careful how he spends his time. He doesn't have much of it, so he has to choose well."
There are regular teenage disappointments though. Ricky, who remains a surprisingly unwindblown adolescent, lost his last girlfriend. He says straightforwardly, "She dropped me. One day she just said, 'Ricky, I like somebody else.' That was last year and this year she changed her mind. But I told her I didn't want to go back. She had her chance with the Ricker, right?" He says he's dating occasionally but nothing "serverious." Serverious? "It's when you're acutely in love," he explains laughing.
Schroder is at that dangerous age when actors who are 18 but look younger start getting all the roles because they can work longer hours. If it all ended tomorrow, how would the Ricker respond? "I would be depressed," he admits. "I like working. I would miss the premieres and parties."
A day in the life of Drew Barrymore
On location for Cat's Eye, a Stephen King horror film, starring the actress. Action!
A dressing room at Dino De Laurentiis' North Carolina Film Corp., in Wilmington. Drew has just put on her costume, pink and white pajamas. She is eating a banana and holding her stuffed Gremlin, a gift from buddy Steven Spielberg. With her are her mother, Ildiko, and Drew's tutor, Almarie Clifford-Robinson. They are waiting to be picked up and driven to the sound-stage. Drew, still sleepy, rubs her eyes.
Drew, now wide awake, arrives at the set, a toy-filled bedroom. Director Lewis Teague calls rehearsal. Drew crawls into bed to go nighty-night. James Naughton, who plays her father, tucks her in. Ildiko crouches on her knees, watching her daughter through a bedroom window. So as not to disturb the action, lldiko whispers: "Drew and I have talked about priorities, and to her, being professional is the most important thing."
Lunch. Drew and her double, Jennifer Ward, 10, eat steak and mashed potatoes from the catering truck. This is their second film together. When Drew was filming Firestarter in North Carolina, Jennifer answered an extra call. Because she looked so much like Drew, she landed the job as her double. The two are best friends. For this film, Drew and her mother are living in a house one door away from the Ward family, which resides outside of town in a suburban development. Third assistant director Ian Woolf hands lldiko an envelope. Drew stops eating and looks up. "Is that my per diem?" she asks. "I get half of that. It goes in my college fund."
Drew and Jennifer head for a set filled with oversized furniture, designed to scale for the cat shots. The girls climb on an enormous bed, on which they begin jumping up and down. "If something happens to her, we're in trouble," says Woolf. "Yes, I know," snaps Ildiko. "But she's been working all morning and needs to play. She's a kid."
Quiet on the set! The cameras are rolling. Drew finds her parakeet, Polly, dead. Tears stream down her face. Drew yells at Candy Clark, who plays her mommy: "Polly's dead and you did it!" After each repetitious take Drew runs into a dark corner. "She does not want anyone to talk to her. She feels it breaks her mood. And she doesn't like to be asked how she cries," says her tutor. (Child labor laws require Clifford-Robinson to be on the set each day, even in summer when school is out of session.)
After more than five hours it's a wrap. Drew, her mother and double are driven home.
Gayle Ward serves dinner to her husband, two children, Candy Clark and the two Barrymores. Over fried chicken and mashed potatoes, Ildiko, a tiny, dark-haired woman, describes herself as "a 33 1/3 record going at 45." Her only reference to her ex-husband, John Drew Barrymore, is: "I just hope Drew got our better qualities and none of our worst."
The girls invite the adults upstairs where a pajama party is in swing. Ken and Barbie dolls are sprawled on a table top, their evening clothes scattered everywhere. Drew performs some dancing—part ballet, jazz and MTV. Jennifer follows suit with a more inhibited version. Now comes the piece de resistance, a performance of Mommie Dearest, with Jennifer playing Christina Crawford and guess who playing Joan. Yep, Drew beats Jennifer with a wire coathanger, screaming: "Scrub the bathroom!" Then Drew exits, slamming the door so hard that Ken falls from the table, bonking his head on the floor. The adults applaud and leave. The girls climb into bed, giggling hysterically.
Henry Thomas at home in the heart of Texas
Scene: A 25-acre ranch near San Antonio where Henry Thomas lies barefoot on a couch in the living room of his parents' small frame house. In the distance through a window can be seen a tree house and swimming pool. Henry has a menagerie of pets including horses, birds and a kennel full of wire-haired terriers. Gertrude, his bulldog, lies nearby.
Henry: Los Angeles is kinda creepy. When I am back here going to school, I don't like for anything to interfere with my normal kind of life. And when my movies come out and I am going to school, it all starts up again. It is just like a big headache coming. When the publicity comes I can't remain normal anymore. Kids at school say things like "Why don't you come to school in a limousine?" or "Why don't you wear a tuxedo to school?" Even if I had a tuxedo, I wouldn't wear it to school. They think I live in a mansion and that I get swimming pools for Christmas. I don't get any more presents than any other kid, but they don't believe it.
This summer I went to see a movie, and the theater manager wanted me to sit on the counter and sign autographs. We just left.
I never had a grandpa so I made one up, and he was like this world-famous inventor. I would sit in the driveway and just stare and stare, and then I would come in and tell my mom about all these adventures I had had. Grandpa Genius made airplanes and we would go flying all the time. And he kept these giant white ants on chains. They gave out green milk. The ants lived in the ground, but when I pulled on their chains they would come up.
What I would really like to do is just make feature films that my friends and family could see. Every time I'm done with a film I never want to do another. Then some time passes and I want to do it again.