Drew Barrymore never minded that her father was a "shoeless, selfish hippy".

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore

The 39-year-old actress' late dad John walked out on her and her mother Jaid when she was just a baby, but the 'Miss You Already' star never bore a grudge against him for his actions.

She said: "I somehow intuitively understood as a very young child that he was incapable of being anything but this shoeless, selfish hippy and weirdly it didn't bother me."

Towards the end of John's life, Drew moved him closer to her and paid his medical bills and was grateful for the time they spent together before he died of cancer in 2004, even if he never felt like a "dad".

She added: "Spending time with him before he died felt like a gift, I always thought he was a very cool, interesting, entertaining, intriguing creature.

"I was like, 'I dig you, you're not a dad by any sense of the word, but you're a unique person.' "

And Drew - who was granted legal emancipation from her parents when she was 15 - still has a difficult relationship with her mother.

She said: "My mother is a different subject. But all is well and things are convivial and pleasant. I can't even talk about her."

While she had a troubled relationship with her parents, the 'Bad Girls' actress - who has daughters Olive, three, and Frankie, 16 months, with husband Will Kopelman - shares a strong bond with her 'E.T' director Steven Spielberg, who has been like a father to her.

She told Red magazine: "It was one of the most loving and encouraging and fun and adventurous things I've evr got to do in my life with such a saf group of people, led by the most wonderful man.

"It was really just a perfect world. It was the last time my life ws quote unquote normal. When [Spielberg] is with my kids, it's the greatest thing in the world."