Why Drew Barrymore ‘Didn’t Want To Work Again’

We caught up with the star to talk work, life and sex ahead of her new Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet...

Last week, Features and Entertainment Editor Giselle Wainwright attended the red carpet screening event for Drew Barrymore’s new Netflix show, Santa Clarita Diet (a series following married couple Sheila and Joel, whose lives take a turn after Sheila transforms into a zombie who feeds on human flesh…). Following that, Giselle sat down with the 41-year-old for all the inside gossip and, while we never thought it possible, came out with an even bigger girl crush. Here’s what she had to say…

Has it been good for you to get outside of your comfort zone with the Santa Clarita Diet?

Yeah, definitely. It’s good because it’s make believe. We’re obviously not hurting anyone and I was like ‘I just wanna go for it’. I really enjoyed the jumping on people and eating body parts and getting covered in vomit and blood. I enjoyed the weird stuff, it made it interesting.

Were you looking for a TV show when Santa Clarita came along?

No, most certainly not. Because I didn’t want to work. I really stopped. I worked in other things; I have a TV company and I write books now and I’m busying myself. I want to show my daughters how positive and important and necessary working is but film hours are so hard. It was like an obvious non sacrifice for me to put that on a back burner so I could be at home with them. I did not want to go back to films but I read this and loved it so much. I was like ‘f*$k, I like this’.

Drew Barrymore stars alongside Timothy Olyphant in new Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet

There are some quite ‘forward and sexy’ moments in the show. Did you find it awkward or think ‘my kids might see this’?

Oh they’lll see way worse! It’s my whole life, I’m proud of it. The only person I’ve had to kiss [on screen] since having kids was Adam Sandler. I’ve been kissing him for 25 years and we just have such a familial relationship that it just doesn’t feel sexual. So yeah, I felt very vulnerable at first and the reason I loved getting to do this was because I loved Victor’s writing. I thought the timing couldn’t be worse as I was going through a really bad time, but I realised it was about a woman having an awakening and I needed an awakening so I could do it with her. By the end, Victor (the writer) was so happy with it and he came up to me when we were shooting the tenth episode and he was like, ‘You look so beautiful’ and I was like ‘Oh my god’. I was so happy because I really wanted to please him. So in answer to your question, by the end I was biting him and slapping him and wearing like, black negligee. I mean, did you see the nighties I was wearing at first? They were frumpy, but by the end I felt good and I was 20 pounds lighter. It was fun.

It was great to see a normal, healthy woman on screen…

Yeah, she was just her, you know, and that was where I was at in my life.

So what is your favourite food/meal that you have to eat in the film?

Macaroni and cheese. Pasta of any kind, pizza. I also love Asian food and Mexican food. I love food. I love to eat.

SEE: 9 Things Drew Barrymore Taught Us About Style

Drew followed a strict diet while filming Santa Clarita Diet

And did you think about that while acting…?

I was so f**king hungry because I was literally just eating protein and vegetables and everyone was walking around me with like tacos and hamburgers. But this is how Sheila feels- she’s desperate for food. Her food is flesh but it’s the same thing – I’m hungry! And she’s hungry!

What did you actually have to [munch on]?

It was always something different and I have to be honest it wasn’t very pleasant. Sometimes it was fleshy dried apples, sometimes it was this weird edible rubbery kind of stuff. The chicken, raw chicken with cake, which was interesting. But the raw beef – whatever they make it with – it was the grossest thing I’ve ever had to eat and I was so ill from it. At least they kept it interesting.

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Will you ever direct another film?

I would love to, and I would love to direct a television show. It’s hard because directing is such an all in job. It’s harder than being an actor- time wise- so until my kids are older, I don’t know how to do it. I’m such a mum, I take them to their gym class and I wake up with them and cook them breakfast. But when they’re like, ‘mum leave me alone’, when they’re teenagers – hopefully they’ll still enjoy hanging out with me – but maybe then I’ll be more pro-active.

Is it way more demanding than acting?

Way more, way more. Whip It was crazy too- I had to learn roller derby, direct and act in it. I was like wow I really did it to myself this time didn’t I. But it was just the greatest time ever.

Since [Adam?] is also with Netflix now, any ideas for the next…?

Yeah, we talk about it all the time. I text him like hello, you, me, Netflix – what are we gonna do? I’m really in the mood to do something totally different with Adam but I don’t know what it is and I haven’t touched on it yet. I actually gave him an idea the other day for a remake of a film that I thought would be really fun.

Please keep pushing…

It’s like every 10 years we do a film, and we’ve done three so…

Santa Clarita Diet is only available on Netflix, out now