The Mysterious Case Of The Viral Drew Barrymore In-Flight Interview

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has issued a statement of apology, via Vanity Fair, over a strange interview with Drew Barrymore published in EgyptAir's in-flight magazine.
"We are aware that an article under the byline of our member Dr. Aida Takla-O’Reilly regarding Drew Barrymore, published in EgyptAir's Horus magazine, has come into question,” the HFPA said in a statement to Vanity Fair.
“Based on our preliminary investigation, we understand that parts of the article in question were not written by Dr. Takla-O’Reilly and that other portions of the article may have come from other sources. We regret any distress caused to Ms. Barrymore by this article.”
This article was originally published on October 3, 2018.
An alleged new interview with Drew Barrymore is confusing the masses.
On October 2, writer and political analyst Adam Baron took to Twitter to share something unusual he found in an in-flight magazine while flying EgyptAir. No, we're not talking about an ad for a "bug vacuum" that one could find SkyMall. This was an alleged interview with Santa Clarita Diet star Barrymore, except it did not read very much like a profile of the actress at all. Or like any profile we've ever read on anyone... ever.
Per Baron's tweets, the article gets off to a not-so-great start with this shady intro:
"Despite being unstable in her relationships most of her life, despite the several unsuccessful marriages and despite the busy life of stardom that dominated her life for several years; the beautiful American Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore has recently decided to temporary [sic] take an unlimited vacation to play her most crucial role as a mother."
As far as we know, this "unlimited vacation" is not happening: Barrymore is producing a new horror anthology series, working on season 3 of her Netflix comedy, and crafting budget-friendly makeup for the masses under her Flower Beauty brand.
A quick glance at the quotes presented in the article should illuminate why people don't buy that this profile is real.
"I cannot deny that women made a great achievement over [the] past century, there is significant progress recorded by people who study women status throughout history," Barrymore's "quote" reads. "This is naturally reflected on women in the west who will not be satisfied unless they gain the rights they deserve to the society. This is especially true since women exert tremendous efforts that men are incapable of exerting due to their numerous commitments and obligations."
The article, which is bylined as Aida Tekla, also includes alleged comments from Barrymore about her weight.
"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 Frankie," the Netflix star is quoted as saying. "However, I find this a great opportunity to encourage every woman who is overweight to work on regaining her beauty and body, especially that it is not as hard as one may think; it is all about determination and following the appropriate diet under the supervision of a physician."
Refinery29 has reached out to representatives for Barrymore and have not heard back yet. However, Chris Miller, the president of Flower Films and Barrymore Brands, did tell Buzzfeed:
"I’m not aware of this at all and don’t have any record of this interview happening."
A separate spokesperson told the outlet that Barrymore "did not participate" in the article.
However, in a series of tweets, EgyptAir has seemingly confirmed the authenticity of the article.
"Dear sir, this a professional magazine interview conducted by Dr. Aida Tekla Former president of the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) and one of the voting members of the Golden Globes," the airline responded when tweeted about the Barrymore piece.
One theory from Buzzfeed is that this is a mistranslation of a piece from Arab-language magazine Ahram, as it includes another Barrymore profile written by Tekla. However, the former president of the HFPA is not named "Tekla" but Takla.
A woman who presents herself as Takla (it is unclear if the unverified Twitter account is genuine) tweeted after the interview went viral:
"As a member of the HFPA since 1956, I have been a correspondent for many publications for decades I interviewed celebrities published in Egypt Air's official magazine; Horus, as well as Nisfdunia magazine, which is one of the publications of Al Ahram."
"It is noted that the previously mentioned publications are authorized to edit the final version of the interviews, according to adjustments required by the magazines in regards to size of the article without altering the core of the content..."
"This doesn't negate the fact that the interview with Drew Barrimoor which took place in New York is genuine &far from fake.As far as Drew we interviewed her several times I saw her grow up before my eyes she is charming and talented."
So what is the truth? Until Barrymore herself speaks out, we may never really know.
Refinery29 has reached out to the HFPA, Barrymore, and EgyptAir for comment.

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