Olivia Rodrigo may be a teenager, but Drew Barrymore is asking her for advice anyway. Just one day ahead of the premiere of her new film Driving Home 2 U (A Sour Film), the 19-year-old pop prodigy stopped by The Drew Barrymore Show Thursday (March 24) to answer questions about the project — including one moment that Barrymore said made her “burst into tears.”
The 47-year-old actress and talk-show host brought up one scene in the film, which premieres exclusively on Disney + March 25, in which Rodrigo was talking about one of the tracks on her album Sour, “Favorite Crime.” “A quote you said — I burst into tears, oh God,” Barrymore gushed, before reciting the quote: “Heartbreak is a two-way street.”
“I just remember going through that awful heartbreak and feeling so responsible for it too in a way,” Rodrigo replied. “Like, you can blame someone else and be like, ‘Oh I hate that you did that to me.’ But when you really think about it, you put yourself in a position to be hurt and nobody’s perfect, and you must have done things wrong in that relationship too.”
The relationship in question — which the public generally believes is about the the singer’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series co-star Joshua Bassett — inspired many of the 11 tracks on Sour, the making of which will be explored in Driving Home 2 U. The album’s singles — from “Good 4 U” to “Deja Vu” to the song that started it all, “Drivers License” — all carry a similar “F–k my ex” message that incited a wave of support for Rodrigo, who became a poster girl of sorts for unjust heartbreak. The phenomenon even manifested into a Saturday Night Live skit (which Bassett dejectedly reacted to on TikTok).
But now, Rodrigo — who revealed she’s currently single — is opening up about the two-party nuances that occur in a breakup. “I think that’s a big part of forgiving another person in a breakup, is forgiving yourself too,” she added.
Barrymore also asked for her guest’s advice on how to be proud of oneself, something Rodrigo said making Driving Home 2 U helped her with. But pride is a hard line to walk as a young star, she explained, because everyone around you defaults to praising you 100% of the time. Barrymore, who began her career as a child actress, had no trouble relating.
“I just remember being like, ‘Oh I could do the worst thing and people could say that I did an amazing thing,’ so how will I know if I’m actually doing a good job?” Rodrigo said. “And I kind of, like, swung to the other side of the pendulum where I just thought everything I did was bad all the time.”
The next thing she said potentially unlocks more of the story behind songs such as “Enough for You” and the Taylor Swift-sampled “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” — both of which detail a relationship in which Rodrigo constantly found herself the subject of overwhelming scrutiny from her partner.
“I think maybe we really like criticism in that way because we didn’t hear a lot of it growing up,” she confessed. “I definitely gravitate towards people who are like that in a good way, but maybe also in a bad way.”
Watch Olivia Rodrigo open up to Drew Barrymore about the relationship that inspired Sour below: