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Drew Barrymore Interviews
Drew Barrymore Charlie's Angels
Interviewed by James Mottram, BBC Films Interview
Who did you aim this film at?
I wanted this film to be for young boys and young girls. For boys, it could be a fantasy; for girls, it could enable them to believe in themselves and empower them to take control of their lives.
Is it strange for you to be an action hero?
If someone told me, as I was sitting on my couch eating a bowl of macaroni cheese in my sweatpants watching a movie, that I could be an action star I wouldn't have believed it. Yet, after three months of training and dedicating myself - by not eating macaroni cheese - to turning my body into this great temple, I did. And if I could, then anybody could.
Was producing tough?
Being a producer - Oh my god! An artery in my heart was like a juicy hamburger, dripping. I felt like a 40-year-old stockbroker downing Pepto Bismol and on the verge of a heart attack. But if you care and love something, you tend to hold the stress inside because you want to make it work so much. But the key to that is having the endless energy to do just that. One day, you will be able to relax, and you don't want to think that you could have put in more effort.
Will there be a sequel?
There is a distinct possibility of all of us working together again. If there is to be a second one, it will take that same amount of care and passion, and that will take a while.
BeatBoxBetty Interviews Drew Barrymore about
Riding In Cars With Boys 2001
Betty: First off, I really appreciate you sticking with this interview even though five minutes ago we heard news that will undoubtedly change history as we know it. How hard is it to be talking about something so small as a movie?
Drew: I think that when events like this happen you start to believe that you're the most trivial person on the planet. And this morning, I did not know how to do my job. It took a lot of guidance and courage to be able to go on with this interview today because I feel I have no right to be speaking about anything right now.
Someone who I respect highly said to me that this is going to be an on-going thing and we're going to have to figure out how to live in that. When you don't know how to do your job - you must re-learn your job. Press junkets are something that come to me so naturally. I've done so many of them and I really enjoy and try to have fun with them. This is not that time. And this is not that case. I've never worked in a time of war. And I'm going to have to be learning how to live my life amongst an entire planet of people who are trying to figure it all out.
Betty: Do you think that the way Hollywood makes movies will be changed by these recent events?
Drew: I studied all of the films that came out during World War II and the Vietnam War and it was interesting to see that this particular industry still functioned, and there was an actual need for it. Whether it be the escapism - or having extraordinary stories to relate to - I think that this film ["Riding In Cars With Boys"] came out at the right time.
It's about needing to hear and say, "I love you." And if we've learned anything in the last few weeks it's that those are the three most profound words that we have. I think that everyone who is good on this planet is being kind and gentle with each other. And I think that films will reflect that. Maybe they'll go back to a softer, more romantic and gentler side. I'd love to see that happen.
Betty: Have you noticed that your relationships with people have changed since September 11th?
Drew: Absolutely. There's an extraordinary article in the New York Times about young people in New York and how they believed that they were living the high life in the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Being single and having a social life was so freeing and fun to them. But now, those same people are sleeping on their friends' couches because they don't want to be alone. So yes, I'm appreciating everyone in my life like I never have before.
Betty: Hmm, sounds like you've been appreciating people even before September 11th.
Drew: You look to those who love you and the family you have with all of its dysfunctions and you accept them. Because of this film, I spent Christmas with my mom this year. And we haven't spent ten Christmas' together! I thank God for times like this that make you a better, more open and accepting person. Let that love in and give it back!
Betty: Speaking of moms, your character, Beverly Donofrio, grows up at a very early age when she becomes pregnant at 15. Have you noticed any similarities between her life and yours?
Drew: Yeah. I related to Bev in that we were both considered such bad girls - for different reasons. For me, because I sort of fell on my face in front of everybody and well for Bev, she got pregnant in Wallingford, Connecticut in 1965 at the age of 15. That was a big "no-no."
It's great to work from that place and to know that you're not a bad person and that you have dreams and things that you'd like to accomplish and give out into the universe. When everyone thinks that you're a freak, it's a very strange place to work from. But there's a fun challenge in it as well. So I really respected that and I did relate to her on that level.
Betty: You do a marvelous job portraying her during different stages - from when she's a fearless teen until she's rough and rigid in her mid '30s. Do you see yourself at all like her later in life?
Drew: No. Well, in a few ways, yes. The way that she loved her son and the deep connection with him, I can only hope that I can feel that way when I'm a mother. I can only hope to have a son that is so extraordinary. In some ways I imitated my own mother because I'm not like Bev, but my mother is. So I did little things that my mother did when I was growing up.
My mom always strokes the back of my head, so I did that all the time. And she was constantly putting on lipstick which was so irritating to me growing up, so I did that a lot as Bev. It was interesting being in my mother's shoes for the first time because I really found myself respecting her. I related for so long to the child's perspective of being raised by a single mother and it gave me a lot of room for forgiveness. Because I had to become a woman and a mother myself, the film really made me grow up a lot.
Betty: What type of resource was the real Beverly Donofrio in creating the role for you?
Drew: A tremendous one. Adam [Garcia] and I hung out with Bev and her son, Jason, all the time, and we really got to know them. It was amazing to have those guides help you and not compromise them or sugar coat them - but play them for who they truly are. Both Bev and Jason have done a tremendous thing in this world; to have been honest and share their story. You hope that your director will guide you as well
Betty: Ah yes, my next question. What was it like taking direction from Penny Marshall?
Drew: Penny is the greatest "guide" in any director there is! She's meticulous and adamant and relentless and wonderful. And for that, we're all better.
Betty: I noticed that while there are plenty of laughs in this movie, this is still a pretty serious flick, isn't it?
Drew: There's an incredible sense of liberation because a lot of families aren't able to be so open and honest about the damage and the darkness and the guilt that does go on in a family. The fact that they acknowledge some of the dysfunction only opens them up as people and brings them closer together. They actually address the dancing elephant in the corner.
I think I wanted to do this film so badly because of how honestly it looked at how we behave - how embarrassed we become and how we don't want to admit it to people. Therefore it doesn't get talked about. That's a crazy moment. It makes you look at things more honestly and every single person on this planet is bonded to a family. I think that's universal and easy to relate to.
Barrymore Talks About "Fever Pitch"
From Rebecca Murray
Drew Barrymore on Baseball, the Farrelly Bros. and Red Sox Fans
No one seems to mind that the ending of Fever Pitch had to be rewritten. Who would have thought the Curse of the Bambino would finally be broken the very year the Farrelly Bros., Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon got together to shoot a romantic comedy about a fanatical Red Sox fan who finds love during another losing Sox season? But the Sox pulled it off, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals and forcing a last second rewrite, not to mention a lot of scrambling to shoot the films stars at the final game of the World Series.
In Fever Pitch, Barrymore stars as Lindsey, a workaholic who believes shes finally found Mr. Right. Everything flows along smoothly until baseball season begins. Then Mr. Right turns into a Red Sox fanatic, and Lindsey has to compete with Americas Favorite Pastime.
INTERVIEW WITH DREW BARRYMORE ('Lindsey'):
Could you ever date a sports fan?
Yeah. I mean, sports is a relatively harmless thing to be obsessed with. There are far more negative things. And theyre really out there. I didnt realize what a true epidemic this is, not just in our country but our world. Reading the Nick Hornby novel, the people from England are just crazy about their soccer. The people in Boston are obsessed with their Red Sox. And we met this Dallas Cowboys fan the other day that was just like I mean, he was Jimmy [Fallons] character. He said the same things that Jimmys character says. He had the gift shop atmosphere going on in his house. Its real, and there are sports widows.
I think its really about finding the balance and I think hopefully in the end of our film, we say, Look, be who you are because if you get into a relationship and you fall in love with someone initially for who they are, the more you take that away, the more theyre going to lose a sense of themselves, and youre going to lose a sense of who you fell in love with. Its about balance and making sure youre making that person a priority and feeling like number one, but still remembering who you are and getting to be that person at the same time.
Did you enjoy being in Red Sox Nation?
Oh yeah, it was great. We shot it so interestingly. It was really just me and Jimmy and a guy with a handheld camera in the seats. We didnt want to draw any attention to ourselves for two reasons: one, we didnt want the crowds around us to be looking weird because if we were just two people there, they wouldnt be doing that. And also, not to distract the players. We just wanted to do it quietly, if possible. And then when we ran across Fenway, that was during the end of a real game, the real players, the real fans, all 37,000 people of them - and that was just unbelievable.
Shooting at the winning game of the World Series, we were right there on the field. The shot that ends our film is us and you see them in the background. Theres no re-creation and dramatization. We live in that technological world where everythings so CGId and cardboard cutout audiences and thats just not what happened here. I think you feel that and I hope that that really comes across because thats exciting to be shooting in the middle of these real games.
Your characters a workaholic. How often do you take work calls in your down time?
Well, Im not the best person about calling anybody back. Im notoriously the worst returner. But when it comes to work, as far as what we need to get done, Im avid and aggressive about just following through on everything because Im not the type of person that just sits back and hopes for the best. I think you have to make it happen. So Im very diligent in my professionalism. I try to maintain my friendships as best as I can, but Im also a little bit flighty and off in my own world sometimes, too. So a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B.
How was working with the Farrelly Brothers?
I think they have just the best sense of comedy. Some of the films they made are the greatest films in the history of comedy and filmmaking. And yet I think this is an opportunity for them to show their more serious and mature side in that world that was very grounded in reality, such as this story called for. So I think it was exciting to them, and for people who watch the movie, to see them do a different type of film.
They just really got the film that we wanted to make going into it. We all were in agreement when we started shooting so that makes it so much more fun when youre all on the same page and youve done your homework. They wanted to try things and we wanted to try things and we were always open to each other. I just think theyre the greatest, greatest guys, too. I think theyve just done a really wonderful job at finding the precise tone that each scene and moment needed for this film.
Are you still hands-on as a producer?
[With] everything. I mean, the casting process, trying to keep your budget at a certain way, hiring the directors, being involved in the rewrites, which is always my scariest process, the rewriting. The production designer, the cinematographer, the editing, the fact that its gotta be marketed appropriate to the film. The publicity that you get everybody to do to go push the movie. All of it. Thats all fascinating and fun and a lot of people who are film people, film nerds who love every little detail, love it. We have fun putting a picture in the background of a friend. Its like a little detail to us. No one would ever notice it but we love each and every little detail. How do we make this scene the best that it can be or what wardrobe should that person be wearing to show their arc? Maybe that outfits too early. We think about every little detail.
Did you collaborate on the rewrites for Fever Pitch?
We didnt really have to modify it as dramatically as people would think that we had to. We just told the story that we were going to tell. The fact was, we were talking about the Boston Red Sox history throughout the movie, and as we were shooting it, their history was changing. So what a phenomenal thing to incorporate into our film and a miracle that was a kind that instead of the boy just getting the girl, but his team loses yet again, he gets the girl and his team wins. Its like everybody wins. Its such an extraordinary celebration.
What is it about Jimmy Fallon that made him right for Fever Pitch?
Well, I think that Nick Hornby novels and Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, they write such rich, interesting characters and the men that they write about are at a certain age. They have a certain playful quality about them and I think that Jimmy totally embodies that. Hes just a lovely, lovely human being. I was excited to see him in something that was romantic and more dramatic than anything hes had the chance to do yet. I really believed in him and he just did an incredible job.
A lot of actresses cite you as a role model
What prompted you to take control of your career and become a producer?
That is so nice. I dont like to sit around and hope for the best. I really want to just take the reins and try and create fun jobs for us and our company, and to tell great stories. I just love filmmaking so I love being a part of every little aspect. And as an actor, you arent necessarily involved in putting the picture in the back of the room and the casting. And you kind of just are hoping its all working out. Sometimes its nice to just go and be an actor and relax into that, but I love being involved in every aspect and I find it very empowering. I just want to continue to grow in that and its just great.
[Nancy Juvonen] and I, we find our stories in the strange places that we do and then we spend two years of our lives making them. We have to love them in order to spend that much time doing it. So I just love my job. I love it.
Are you still involved in the upcoming Curtis Hanson film?
Well, that is a film Im just going to be an actor on and as an actor, one of my goals is to work with filmmakers that I really admire. He is just the epitome of an incredible director. Im just so excited about it. Im just so eager to work as hard as I can for him. And Im actually leaving right now to go do the cast read through in Las Vegas for it, so Im really excited about it.
What kind of environment is Vegas to work in? Are you a Vegas type of person?
No. Ive never been there for more than 48 hours and when I did, I like ran screaming out of there as if my butt was on fire. Im going to be there for the next two months. Im going to have to get real zen. Thats too much of an energy place for me, but itll be interesting.
Did you like working in Boston?
I loved Boston. It just was amazing to see how everyone is so emotionally affected by this team. And [there are] lovely people, very smart, ambitious people in Boston. Its a beautiful city. It respects its history. I like it.
What about St. Louis?
I hate that there has to be someone winning and someone losing. I will say that what I was happy about was that no matter what team you root for and where your loyalties lie and where youre from, I feel like everybody sort of took a moment and went, All right, 86 years in the making, you earned it. And I felt like everybody kind of put their own loyalties aside for a second, which was a lovely moment.
Drew Barrymore - The Well Rounded Interview
MARCH, 1997 - After reading for years about the adventures of legendary wild child Drew Barrymore, the surprising first impression upon meeting her is that she's smaller than life. Petite, a bit pudgy, and with her hair dyed jet-black, the beaming Barrymore is barely recognizable as she enthusiastically bounds into the hotel lobby, hand outstretched, her distinctively strong voice ringing out, "What's happening?"
The Generation X update from a Hollywood acting family renown for both its immense talent and incessant hard living, Drew Barrymore's early career seemed destined for a quick burst of brilliance ensuing in tragic burnout: A Neil Young song personified. Her film acting debut in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster E.T. was followed by a rough childhood of alcoholism, drug addiction and some pretty bad movies.
In the past few years, however, she seems to have turned things around, making better personal and professional choices, if getting a few too many tattoos. Newly disciplined, the now 22-year old actress cleaned up her act and worked on her art. She kicked booze and dope, but kept her overt sexual aura by posing for Playboy and notoriously flashing her breasts at David Letterman on his birthday while dancing on his desk.
1996 was a very good year for Drew Barrymore. She was featured in two high profile movies: Wes Craven's surprise smash Scream, which is now inching it's way towards becoming the most profitable horror movie of all time; and Woody Allen's disappointing but star-studded romantic musical comedy Everyone Says I Love You. She seems to have shaken off the dark side of her Hollywood heritage and is now poised to write a new chapter in the thick book chronicling the exploits of the Barrymore family.
But Drew, we gotta ask: What's with the hair?
She laughs. "First, it was just for me and I wanted to wear it in my next movie. But I was told it was awful, so I wore this great Sandra Dee wig with the bangs and a little flip, just like in Scream. Then for the film I did after that, Independence, I wore this hair. It's important for me to change for each role - dramatically."
There were rumors floating around that she was going to be cast as Sandra Dee in a biography of the actress's tumultuous life. Was the wig a sly comment on that?
"That's a total rumor thing. But that's not to say that I wouldn't like to do it. They're saying Johnny Depp will be playing Bobby Darin. I'd give anything to work with him. He brings so much soul to every character he plays."
This gushing, knee-jerk public relations response shows that Barrymore has been learning the Hollywood game very well. So we ask the gushing, knee-jerk public relations question: When you look back over the films you've done, which ones stand out as the best?
Barrymore gives a little smirk, more self-effacing than snide, and says "Oh, I don't know about good performances. I'm my own worst critic. I can't imagine saying 'I was really hot in that movie!' The best experiences for me were Gun Crazy and Boys on the Side, and now, of course, Scream and Everyone Says I Love You. I'm so fortunate. These last few months were so much fun. It's great to wake up and look forward to going to work instead of fucking dreading it."
How was it working with Woody Allen?
"Are you kidding me? I was so nervous. I was so excited that he called me in the first place, that he had an open mind to ask me to audition. God, Woody Allen knows I'm alive! He's my hero."
In Allen's musical comedy you were the only cast member who didn't do their own singing. How come?
Barrymore repeats her cute smirk. "My voice didn't match with Skylar's [her character in the film], although I do change my voice often for films. That's one of the best things about acting we get to be chameleons. I think you should change your hair, your makeup, your clothes all the time. It's so lame when actors look the same in every movie. That's why I love Jennifer Jason Leigh so much. She utterly changes herself in every movie."
Despite the picture's weaknesses, Barrymore gives a dead-on performance in Everyone Says I Love You, in a role that doesn't seem very close to who she really is. How did she go about pulling this person out from inside her? Could she identify with Skylar at all?
"Sure. We have some similarities. We're dreamers, philanthropists .we believe in the good people. But she's also very graceful and collegiate and coordinated with a very interesting fashion sense. I'm not any of those things."
It must have been great working with such a distinguished cast.
"Everyone was so kind and gracious on this film. Between Tim Roth and Ed Norton [the two characters vying romantically for her character], I wouldn't know who to choose, they're both so amazing. Those guys are both deep and so funny. The way to my heart is to make me laugh. I've worked with assholes before and it's no fun, but I won't name any names. Usually the most talented and extraordinary people also tend to be the most generous."
Just when it starts to get juicy, she backs off! C'mon Drew! Name an asshole! Just one!
She laughs and shakes her head. "No! It's just not worth it. Besides, people can change. You can always hope that they'll change."
She's certainly changed, successfully making the transition from child star to adult actress when most everybody had written her off as another L.A. casualty. What does she think about poor Macaulay Culkin's situation?
"I think people should stop judging him. I feel so sorry for him! All the evilness stems from judgment. Everyone has their opinions We're all individuals and opinions are fascinating they're what makes us who we are but I don't like that people are judging him who don't know the situation. They should just fuck off and mind their own business. Very few people can even begin to understand what he's going through."
This is the most passionate Barrymore has been since we sat down, and the for first time the gentle, enthusiastic pleasantness has dimmed in her demeanor. One word cropped up repeatedly in her last response, and it's obviously a hot button for her. She evidently felt she was being judged when she was going through all her own problems with drinking and drugs?
Now she's borderline pissed. "Absolutely! It wasn't fair at all! It hurts and it doesn't make it easier to change things. In his case, people have to realize that when that poor kid is at home and people are saying those terrible things about him and his family, it hurts him a lot."
Barrymore ended up taking a different approach and finally stood up for herself, confronting the media's questions and facing up to the tough answers. It won her a lot of respect, but it couldn't have been easy.
Boom. She turns it off. She's nice again. "It was so scary to put myself out there and be so vulnerable for people, especially for the people who just want a nasty story and don't care about you at all. But the truth is, with me you always know what you're getting. I imagine it takes a lot more energy to hide and not be yourself."
Scream has been such a popular hit, and Barrymore's work in it as a terrified victim is quite good, but the role must have been exhausting. How was it working day after day Scream-ing?
"Scream was an incredibly challenging role for me the sheet terror and horror and all the crying. It took so many takes and angles. For weeks I was running around with blood on me just crying all the time! I won't have PMS for five years because of that movie which is great, by the way but it was very cathartic in the end. I would have never done the job if not for Wes Craven. Wes is the most amazing director. He's really talented, and it's too bad he's kind of been typecast as a horror movie director."
They're talking about a sequel .
"I can't be in it. I died," she says, laughing. Right. But what about a sequel to E.T.? They were talking about it once.
"It won't happen. Steven Spielberg finally killed that one. We talked about it for a long time, and there was actually a time when it almost happened, but it's past now. We were going to go to E.T.'s planet or something like that. I'm glad it didn't happen. Some sequels are great and can be pulled off, but I think usually they devalue the original."
But that's Hollywood. It's all about money.
And finally the P.R. veil comes off. "Hollywood is so shallow and mean, and I have as little to do with it as possible. So many actors are just in it for the money and the glitz and the stardom I just don't get it. I'm not in it for that. I'm in it to be a good employee. It's a job that lets me be creative and fulfilled and it also allows me to do important things as far as the world is concerned making a difference with people and being a philanthropist, being an advocate of good causes."
Aren't there other Hollywood people like that?
"Those aren't the real Hollywood people. I don't see myself as some Hollywood person. I have nothing to do with Hollywood. I don't go out there and party or anything like that. I only have a place there because that's were my office is. It has a bed in it. No TV, no phone and no clock."
So where does she live?
"I don't live anywhere. I travel mostly, but I think I'll be living in Texas soon. Fredericksburg, Texas: It's this beautiful little town. I want to be far away from all the bullshit, and Texas reminds us that we're little. I like being so close to nature there. I'd rather be in a place like that than watching some dick on his mobile phone thinking he rules the world. That definitely puts me in a bad mood."
Her personal PR flack is making the rounds to close up shop, so we tell Barrymore we don't want to leave her thinking about what puts her in a bad mood. What puts her in a good mood?
She gives a big smile. "Thank you! Being an advocate of good causes puts me in a good mood. I want to go out there and talk about politics and animal rights and sexual issues. That's what fulfills me at the end of the day. It's a great gift for me."
Drew Barrymore Interview
Drew Barrymore falls for an obsessive sports fan in the new film: THE PERFECT CATCH. She brings humor, humanity and a fresh sophistication to her role in the delightful romantic comedy from acclaimed directors, The Farrelly Brothers.
What does a girl do when she discovers that she has fallen head over heels in love with a guy who appears to be more devoted to his favorite sports team than he is to her? Its a question that women everywhere, often face, and it is one that confronts Drew Barrymore in her role in THE PERFECT CATCH. The actress shines in the film, displaying a fresh sophistication and depth. In fact, watching her light up the screen as the ambitious career woman, Lindsey Meeks in this charming romantic comedy, it is hard to believe that the actress/producer, who has been famous since she was a little girl, is now 30 years old.
In THE PERFECT CATCH, her character embarks on a relationship with Ben Wrightman, a school teacher, played by Jimmy Fallon. (Fallon made his name in the States on the iconic American TV show, Saturday Night Live.) Everything seems perfect until it becomes crystal clear that Ben has an Achilles heel he is a fanatical fan of the famous American baseball team, The Boston Red Sox. He lives and breathes the sport.
The film is based on a novel by Nick Hornby and the original setting for the fiction was soccer. But this is not essentially a sports film. Its appeal lies in the fact that it is a heartwarming, realistic and funny film with baseball as the backdrop. At the same time however, it is impossible not to get caught up in the excitement of the game as we watch on the edge of our seats, to find out whether the Red Sox will break their long running losing streak and finally win the all-important World Series. Some of the scenes were filmed during live games, adding extra drama and tension.
Couples everywhere can relate to Drew and Jimmys characters, Lindsey and Ben. Ben cannot help himself: he is a die-hard fan. While she appreciates his excitement, Lindsey doesnt want to lose herself in her boyfriends life and struggles to maintain her relationship, without sacrificing her own interests. What makes the film so moving is the appeal of the two stars. Fallon is believable as the guy torn between two loves: his girlfriend and his team. Barrymore is sparkling and funny as usual.
Directed by the Farrelly Brothers who are best known for THERES SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, the film is as funny as you would expect. But the directors trademark broad comedy is tempered this time; it is gentler and more subtle. There are as many tender moments as there are loud laughs.
Barrymores company Flower Films co-produced the film, and she was involved in every stage of the production, from casting to costumes. She has made a variety of movies with her company, including the huge hit CHARLIES ANGELS in 2000 and the sequel, CHARLIES ANGELS FULL THROTTLE. Movie lovers who have been following the path of this talented actress are familiar with her career and life story. Born into the famous Barrymore acting dynasty, she became famous herself at age six, when she starred in Steven Spielbergs 1982 blockbuster, E.T.THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL. Her performance as Gertie won her worldwide acclaim.
She continued to act throughout her teens, despite an unsettled childhood. And she went on to display her formidable talent as an adult actress. Her roles include Woody Allens film, EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU, THE WEDDING SINGER, NEVER BEEN KISSED and EVER AFTER. She also appeared in George Clooneys CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND and recently starred in 50 FIRST DATES with Adam Sandler. Barrymore is set to play a struggling Las Vegas singer in her next project LUCKY YOU with Eric Bana. Curtis Hanson is directing the film.
The actress is dating musician Fabrizio Moretti, the drummer with the rock band The Strokes. She lives in Los Angeles and has three dogs. When we meet to discuss THE PERFECT CATCH, she is looking pretty and natural, without a trace of makeup. Dressed in jeans, a t-shirt and black cardigan, her reddish brown hair is loose around her shoulders. She is warm and friendly, full of enthusiasm about the film and life in general.
Q: What appealed to you about this film?
Barrymore: What really drew me to the film is that it is first and foremost a love story. If you remove the baseball component completely, it is a story about how much you have to change and compromise in order to have a successful, happy relationship. It is about finding the balance and allowing the other person to be himself or herself.
Q: What was different and exciting about this film?
Barrymore: I love exploring romantic comedies, but I find I want to learn something from each experience, through the characters I play and the subject of the films. I really loved this one because it taught me a lot and let me explore the concept of how much of yourself you give away to your partner in a relationship. My character and Ben fall in love with each others passions and little idiosyncrasies, those traits and quirks that everyone possesses. Then somewhere along the line, those passions can cause problems. They can start to annoy us and get in the way. And I think in the end it is important not to water down or change the other person, but accept them for who they are. I really love that message in the film.
Q: Would you ever date a sports fan?
Barrymore: Yes. Sport is a relatively harmless thing to be obsessed with. Until I made this film I did not realize that sports obsession is a real epidemic though not just in America. If you read the Nick Hornby novel, people from England for instance and of course in other countries throughout Europe and the world, are crazy about soccer. So this story relates to everyone. In any relationship you have to make the other person a priority, so that they feel like they are number one, however much they love their sport.
Q: Have you managed to keep a balance in your own relationship?
Barrymore: I think so. I am a workaholic, so I know that my schedule is tough, I work 17 hours a day and I am traveling all the time and there is no routine in my job. So I like a partner who is open and encouraging about what I do, then I totally empathize with him. I m so passionate about my work, I love my job. But I do have someone who is supportive and understanding and of course that makes me feel so good and empowered. How could you not just want to return that respect? If you or the other person you are involved with chooses to have passions, lets celebrate them rather than putting them down all the time. But yes, I am very happy in my relationship.
Q: Were you interested in baseball before making this film?
Barrymore: Not at all. I knew nothing about baseball. Then spending the summer at Fenway Park (the Red Sox Stadium) and being there at all their games, I began to understand the atmosphere and got swept up in it. I even ended up loving the die-hard fans and their eccentricities. And they started winning and I was so excited because we could show how they were changing their history.
Q: You actually filmed at real games. Do you think it made it more authentic?
Barrymore: Absolutely. I feel theres a lot of authenticity because we really are there at the games, you know it and you feel it, its not CG (computer generated), its not fake.
Q: The Farrelly brothers say this is a great role for you like Jane Fonda moving from BARBARELLA to more substantial roles such as THE CHINA SYNDROME and KLUTE. Was THE PERFECT CATCH an important role for your career?
Barrymore: Yes it was and thats so exciting and so nice of them to say that. I just like this character because she is a cool girl and she is consistent. I like the fact that at some point she felt she was losing herself by getting too involved in Bens life and she said you know what? Ive just given myself up, my entire life has vanished, I need to maintain my friendships, and my health regime and my work, so I want to stay who I am and I want you to stay who you are and were going to find a way to make this work. Im just inspired by that kind of person and thats why I really wanted to play her. She is very strong.
Q: Would you put up with obsessive behavior like Bens?
Barrymore: Im sure as any good therapist would say, if you are dealing with an obsessive boyfriend you have to ask yourself whether you are paying a price that is too high by staying in the relationship. But I also think that if you really love someone for who they are you have to accept them. I do believe that if both people want a successful relationship, they can achieve that.
Q: Why was Jimmy Fallon the right person to play Ben?
Barrymore: Well I love Jimmy and Ive worked with him before and I thought he was great, so nice and easy to get on with, everyone likes him. Men think hes funny and women think hes just adorable. I think he will be popular everywhere. And from my own personal experience, working with him on this film was a real pleasure. He expresses the mature and romantic side of him. There are moving scenes where hes really distraught and frustrated. Those are experiences or emotions he hadnt explored until now. I knew he could do it and he pulled it off completely.
Q: Why do you think you and Jimmy have such good chemistry?
Barrymore: I admire him and adore him; we did not have to do a screen test. I cant imagine having to work with someone and pretend to be in love with him, if I had no good feelings towards him. I just dont even know how to fake that. Also Jimmy is very funny and I love working with funny men, Im always intrigued by that.
Q: What was it like working with the Farrelly Brothers?
Barrymore: Theyre very funny and they have the best sense of comedy. But I think that this film provides an opportunity for them to show their more serious and mature side as filmmakers. I think some of their films are among the best in the history of comedy, but they do something different in this film. Nan, (business partner) and I really wanted this script to be grounded in reality and it wasnt gross-out broad humor that they often do. We wanted it to be funny and we wanted it to be romantic. The Farrellys are from Boston where the film is set which was great. Also they understood the characters. I think they bring timelessness to the film with an old fashioned style of comedy and romance and yet they know how to keep up with the modern aspects too.
Q: There is one memorable and hilarious scene in which you are sick suffering from food poisoning and you actually vomit. It is a surprisingly sweet moment as well as being funny, was that your idea?
Barrymore: Nan and I had a preconceived idea of how we wanted that scene to be shot and the Farrellys agreed with us that we would never see my character throwing up, being sick. And thats exactly why it works. It takes place behind the door. You hear it, so it is funny and you feel it and Ben takes care of her, he cleans up after her. I think the little nuances make the scene work. For example he undresses her and says I wont look and then admits:OK I looked. Its sweet and funny and realistic and she gets to joke too, the tone is right.
Q: Your character spends a lot of time on her cell phone. Do you spend hours chatting on the phone?
Barrymore: Well I do call people, though I am not very good or reliable about returning phone calls. Actually I am notoriously bad at calling people back. But when it comes to work it is different. I am aggressive about following through on everything, because I am not the type of person who just sits back and hopes for the best. I think you have to be active and make things happen. So I am very diligent in my professional life and I do try to maintain my friendships as best as possible. But I admit that I am also a little bit flighty and I daydream and sometimes I go off into my own world.
Q: Are you thinking about marriage and starting a family? Or is your career still your top priority?
Barrymore: I am happy in my relationship but Im not ready to have a family yet and Im not ready get married. I am just enjoying life at the moment, I am having fun and working and spending time with my love. I am also spending time with my friends and I have created my own little family with my boyfriend and friends. Id much rather try to build a family when Im really ready, when Im more selfless. Having a baby is not something I want to mess around with and just hope for the best, it is much too important. Raising children is always going to be so difficult and scary and challenging, I dont think that I will ever feel prepared. All my fellow friends who are already mothers tell me that and I still think if I wait a little bit longer so Ill be better suited for the job. The biological clock is not ticking yet, but I do want children.
Q: Do you work out as obsessively as your character?
Barrymore: No I wish I did though; but I try. I am really enjoying exercise right now, but I am going to eat the carbs that I enjoy, the pasta and bread, I refuse to give those up.
Q: What is it like being 30?
Barrymore: It is the best time of my life, not traumatic at all. I do not think I have ever been happier. I think the older I get, the better I get. Gravity and wrinkles that come with ageing are fine with me. All that means nothing compared to the new wisdom inside my head and my heart. And if my breasts fall down to the floor and everything starts to sag and becomes hideous and gross, I will not worry. I will just stop appearing in front of the camera. That is fine with me because I love producing, so I will just go behind the camera. I am not worried about my physicality at all. But I appreciate everything happening to me at the moment. There was a time when I could not get a job so I have utter gratitude for every job I get.
Q: What are your biggest concerns?
Barrymore: I worry about how I can use this lifetime effectively to gain as much wisdom as possible and to celebrate my life. I have a lot to celebrate at the moment.
Q: You mentioned working behind the camera are you enjoying your role as a producer with your company?
Barrymore: I love everything about being a producer. I enjoy the casting process and trying to balance a budget. I like hiring directors and being involved with rewriting scripts. I like it all working with the production designer and wardrobe and deciding what the characters should be wearing. It is all fascinating. I love every detail of the process. I really want to take the reigns, I find it very empowering. And it is my absolute goal to direct films one day.
Drew Barrymore Talks About "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"
by Rebecca Murray and Fred Topel
Drew Barrymore was attached to "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" longer than most the film's stars, even longer than actor/director George Clooney.
In "Confessions," Barrymore plays Penny, the long-time friend and love interest of Chuck Barris. When Barrymore heard that Sam Rockwell was coming onboard to play Barris, she couldn't have been more pleased.
I think that Sam and I have this great chemistry. This is our second film together ['Charlies Angels' was their first collaboration] and I feel that we are just constantly inspiring each other. On set, we listened to our music, we danced, we talked a lot, and we worked each other up into these funny lathers it was great, says Barrymore.
Rockwell is equally as effusive when discussing his co-star. I hope to work with Drew over and over again. We were on the exact same page. We knew who these people were and what they meant to each other. Penny and Chuck are so perfect for each other and yet he takes her for granted. In a way its a typical kind of relationship between a man and woman that goes awry. You just hope he will get it together, explains Rockwell.
How did you get along with George Clooney as a first time director?
He's amazing. He's one of the best directors I've ever worked for. He makes your acting better. He really watches you like a hawk, and then comes in and tweaks and adjusts things that you're doing and just makes them better. [He] gives you incredible suggestions that you weren't thinking to go there. Most of those takes are what's in the movie. [He has] just a really amazing way of articulating what his vision is and what he wants. He's very loving and very nurturing, but he's just incredibly objective. He's really, really good. All actors come prepared enough - most actors, I should say - come prepared enough that if they weren't directed, they could figure it out on their own. But everybody wants to be directed. He's amazing. He made me so much better than I would have been on my own.
He seems very secure for a first timer.
He's very secure, very confident and with no arrogance whatsoever. He just came really prepared so that he could have the most fun while he was doing it. Everybody felt that energy. It was just a really amazing, idyllic atmosphere. It was the best time ever.
How tricky was this role? Played wrong it would be 'marry me' for two hours.
Totally. I'm glad you said that. When I read the script many years ago, I was obsessed with playing her because I not only liked her, I loved the way that Chuck [Barris] had imagined her and Charlie [Kaufman] had written her. I just thought there was a real challenge. And nobody even mentions that, and I guess that's a good thing, because I tried so hard to go against that. I was so protective of her. Even as well written as she was, [she] could have been misconstrued by somebody as being bitter or needy or glommy or un-independent. I just thought there was [a] real challenge in making her seem like a grounding light in his life, who pretends like she's a beatnik who doesn't need commitments and isn't really into that kind of stuff, but who secretly is still a girl at that point inside. Then [she] becomes a woman and does want and need those things. As she gets to know him, [she] feels a little bit more daring in bringing that up to him and hoping it won't push him away. And of course it does.
What's your sense of what she gets from Chuck Barris?
They're playful together; they've known each other for so long. The heart chooses what the heart chooses. She loves him madly and she's proud of him. He's at his best when he's with her. She does get a lot of his good sides. I think also she's sort of like, "Look, I know we should be together. I know we're good for each other. If you don't see it yet, well then I just have to wait until you do."
How helpful was the "Charlie's Angels" experience, having already worked with Sam Rockwell?
Great. We definitely already had an amazing conformability together. I think it helped a tremendous amount. Had we not know each other, I'm sure it would have been a little different. But we were so close at that point because not only did we spend six months on "Charlie's" together, but we became very good friends, and have been very social since then. So, there was an amazing shorthand.
But you too weren't quite as naked in "Charlie's Angels."
No. We have a make-out scene, so it was like all working up to that. Then we had this crazy shower scene, and we're like, "Oh my God." We're like really kind of brother and sisterly in real life.
Would that have been easier if you didn't know each other that well?
No. I was glad I knew him. I felt comfortable. It's vulnerable to get in those positions, and I felt really safe with George and really safe with Sam. I actually hadn't done that in a really long time. I've gotten naked and stuff, but I haven't had a love scene like that in a while. I just got into it and did it, then afterwards I was like shy and embarrassed. But those two men are so wonderful, and I feel very family, brotherly, protected.
Why do you think women weree so drawn to Chuck Barris?
There is something incredibly sexy about a man who is so motivated, and can juggle all those balls in the air, and have show after show, and be a constant thinker and be reading and writing, thinking of music, making movies, doing TV. He really was the first person to have people do unscripted, what we call 'Reality TV' now. Though I think our 'Reality TV' is very different. His was more playful and now it's about exposing people's problems.
It's uglier now.
It is. I don't ever watch reality TV now. It pains me to see it. He let us expose all our problems with no help or good advice on how we can fix them, you know? I think he was about, "Hey, I really do like riding a unicycle with a bunny suit on, but none of my friends know it. Hey, here's a forum where I can express that." I just thought there was something very great about his shows.
Do you believe his spy stories?
I know he has an amazing imagination and I'm impressed with the way he articulated it into a novel. I also love when people sort of tweak the history as we know it and show a different way of how they got about it.
So you read it as a novel?
I don't know what to believe. I don't want him to have hurt anybody, so in that way I hope it's not true. I just keep coming back to that. He has a really interesting mind that he was able to come up with this.
What do you make of the idea of lionizing this guy who could be lying through his teeth or mentally disturbed?
That's it, that's the whole point, that it is a really interesting story - and well written. [It's] very well written by Charlie Kaufman and amazingly directed by George, and perfectly acted by Sam. I just think a lot of great people came together on this, whether it's real or an idea, and told a very interesting story that I think a lot of people can weirdly relate to. The double life, you want to live this sexy cool hit man CIA '60s movie star like rock and roll, Julia Roberts saying, "kill for me, baby" life. Do you want that life, or do you want the nice girl who's stable and sweet and you're an executive and you create shows? Everyone fantasizes about the dual life, I think, too. But all in all, I just think it's an amazing story, and it was a great forum if done by the right person, and George was that person to make a movie out of it.
Who does your character represent?
Well, she is slightly based on one real woman in his life, and I think she's an amalgamation of other women. I think she's a combination of an ideal woman in his mind, but I know there is one woman he was particularly thinking of.
What's your idea of romance?
We're talking about me now? I don't know. My idea of romance is someone who makes you laugh and is consistent, and is playful but there for you in moments when you need a real friend and someone to talk to. Someone who is just sweet to you and you have a good time with. I know that sounds general, but those are great, important criteria for having something great.
Is it strange to have done so many films and still be so young?
It's all I've known, so no. But I get excited because I'm going to be 28 in a couple weeks or whatever, and I start thinking about, "OK, I've spent pretty much all of my 20s doing my company, and that's really what the goal has been about. I'm really interested to see what are my 30s going to be about." If I can live as many lives as I can in this one lifetime, how lucky I would be. I'm in a job, too, where I wonder sometimes why I just keep doing it, but it's like, if you really do have the desire to live many different lives, than this is an amazing job for that. I can go and play and create a story or find a script, create a forum to live out these fantasies for three to six months at a time, two years at a time when you're producing because you go through the whole process, then go and move on and do something different. But I actually would like to physically to go and live different lives with different people in different places in different occupations. I may never end up doing that. I may just find that this is the one forum that allows me to do everything I want. But I just love it, I'm really happy doing what I do.
An interview with Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore has come a long way - from landing the starring role in ET aged five, battling drink and drugs in her teenage years, to becoming the A-list celebrity she is today.
Drew talks about love, 'the happy dance' and her new film, 50 First Dates. Her character in this film is left with a memory lapse after a car accident, which means she can't remember what happened yesterday. That's a huge problem for her new boyfriend (Adam Sandler), who has to win over his ditzy darling day after day after day.
You must have been very excited when you heard you'd be shooting 50 First Dates in Hawaii?
It was Adam's idea, thank God, because the film originally took place in Seattle. Adam and I and my partner Nan and all his team from Happy Madison had come here on vacation after The Wedding Singer and we just felt this place was associated with our friendship and he came up with the idea to shoot it here. It really became a character and a backdrop for the whole film; it really changed the tone of it. He's a veterinarian for sea animals, so it was just perfect and appropriate.
There was Tracy and Hepburn in the '40s; then Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the '50s; and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in the '90s; and now it looks like Sandler and Barrymore for the new millennium. What do you think of that?
You didn't see my peacock feathers extend when you said that? I love hearing that and I love him so much. He really is such a wonderful person. There is not a mean bone in his body. He is inherently kind on every single level. I love getting to work with someone who is so nice to everybody and is so kind to me. I walk into a room and all I want to do is make people happy. He can walk into a room and says a one-off shot thing and everybody starts laughing. He just brings a lot of joy to people by being funny.
You should never lose that enthusiasm, no matter how long you're in your relationship, like the getting ready to go on a date process When I'm working with him it's so genuine. I transfer it into a character thing and love thing. We've only ever been friends and probably always will be, so that feeling of 'Oh my God, you're so great and I do love you' is really genuine. It's nice and a pleasure to receive the jobs where you get to go to work and just be genuine with people, instead of having to fake it, because that's so difficult.
While you were shooting in Hawaii, did you go surfing?
I did surf while I was here a couple of times. I was so proud because I totally stood up on my first time. The second or third time, somebody took pictures out there. I've never hunted a human being down more. I need the negative, I need the copy, and finally they ended up blowing it up for me as a joke, really big, which I think I'm too shy to put up. I saved the pictures, like you can't even imagine like me standing up on the surfboard. Riding a wave was not ever something I thought I'd see myself do.
In this movie your character does 'the happy dance' when she realises there's chemistry between her and Adam's character. What makes you do the happy dance?
So many things, actually. I'm just a happy person by nature. I do the happy dance a lot. I was thinking the other day that I really think you should never lose enthusiasm when you're going on a date with someone you're in love with. I've been with my boyfriend (Fabrizio Moretti) for almost two years and I still like to get ready by myself and put on music and dance in my underwear and put make-up on and get ready and excited to go out. You should never lose that enthusiasm, no matter how long you're in your relationship, like the getting ready to go on a date process. It shouldn't be lost.
You live in Los Angeles and you're so happy. How do you deal with all the cynicism there?
I've always been happy and everybody has things in their life that pulls them in the opposite direction to make them cynical or jaded or unhappy and you just have to fight those things off like a dragon in a lair with like fiery breath and just not let it happen. I have no cynicism in me whatsoever. I'm not jaded at all. I just laugh at people who are falling prey by shortening their lifespan by being unhappy and I think if you have to fall prey to that then I can learn from you, because you seem so unhappy and I just don't want to do that to myself. If you care about the people enough then you should try to show them another way to be or to feel so that they don't let their life go by unhappy. Some people you just can't help and have to give up, but it's worth trying with them.
When did you choose happiness over cynicism?
I just think that everything is a gift and it's beautiful. I have totally emotional days where I cry and get insecure, PMSd, weirded out; like doomed and tragic. I'm definitely not like this lollipop, happy in the wind. I'm human just like anybody else. I just think that it would be a tragic waste to be on your deathbed and say, 'I could've, I should've.' That just somehow gets me out of bed every day. I always wanted to be one of those really dramatic people who lays in bed for three weeks and couldn't get out and had to have all my friends come and rescue me. I can't even last an hour in bed in the morning. I have to get out no matter how much I'd love that to be true. I have to get out there and live.
In this movie your character has a fleeting memory. What first dates of yours were pretty forgettable?
Not too many. I didn't really date a lot. I more or less just fell in love and moved in or something. I didn't have a lot of dating processes.
Did you fall in love with the walrus in the film?
Oh my God, I was like on top of the walrus; loving, hugging, petting, riding - like you name it. It's the cutest thing, but it's weird to talk about a two-ton animal saying it's cute. He's so large, but he's all bony and large at the top, but then somehow the bones and the cartilage disappear by the bottom and he's this weird rubbery, flexible thing. It's like there's nothing at the bottom. He's got these great quills and his mouth is full of gums, there's no teeth so you could just feed him ice and put your whole hand in his mouth and it's totally safe. I just hung out with him. I was obsessed with him and I wouldn't leave his side for a second. He painted me a picture, it's so cute. I have a picture of him with this pacifier paintbrush in his mouth and he painted me this painting and I have it up on my wall. It's so cool. I bonded with the walrus - not a sentence I ever thought I'd get to say.
With Valentine's Day coming up what's the most romantic thing you've ever done for love?
I think the most romantic thing you can do is be a consistent person. It's really hard when you're dealing with someone and you don't know what you're gonna get every day. I think that's a tough way to live, so if you could be a little more consistent that's really nice.