by Anna Louise Dearden, published on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 17:23:15|
Drew Barrymore has been a screen sweetheart for almost three decades and is showing no signs of slowing down. Behind the camera, she is also enjoying success as a producer under her own Flower Films banner, with such hits as Charlie's Angels and 50 First Dates.
Not a girl to sit back and twiddle her thumbs - her directorial debut, Whip It starring Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis, is out on DVD 16 August 2010. Talking to GLAMOUR.COM, she tells us how she fell in love with her cast and how her godfather, Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg, was impressed with her stint in the director's chair .
You make your directorial debut with Whip It. Did you ever feel as though you'd bitten off more than you could chew?
Well, it was a concern; I did not want a film that felt all over the place, but I did want one that did cover a time in someone's life, when there are good days and bad days. You get excited about love, you have friendships, you want to empower yourself to become who you are and want to see that through, and feel confident about it, especially if you are afraid that people maybe will not support the choices that you make. Finding a group of people where you are able to be yourself, where you are happy and encouraged to be better, tat is really the important thing in life, and in the movie. So all these things speak to me in life; you like to go out with your friends and dance and then you have hard difficult moments that are more quiet and internal, so I was like, 'How can I get all those colours into this movie and not make it a big mess?' And I'm glad you think I got it right. It was very purposeful.
Apparently, Ellen Page was your only choice for the lead role in the movie
It was her. For me, she is the only person I ever wanted or pictured. It was funny. I never really entertained the idea of another person. I just felt she was the tough, small, beautiful creature who had a wonderful vulnerability that I just wanted to bring out. And I felt very connected to the character, too. I felt that I was related to her so much and I tried to make it personal. That is important to me. I thought Whip It was a really good place to start for me [as a director], because I tried to put so much of my own heart and experience and reaction and determination in the world on screen, and into her character. And with Ellen, it was such a collaborative effort in the performance. I tried to make it light and fun.
Did you and Ellen Page become close off-set as well as on-set?
Yes, we did. We did and my heart would have broken if we had not become close, because being that personally connected made it all the more special. It did not feel like a job to me. It felt like I was trying to mould my own heart into a flat thing and then turn in to a reel of film, and I wanted to be really personal about it. So I was thrilled that Ellen would go on that journey with me because my heart would have broken if I had been working with an actress who was just like, 'I am showing up I am punching in my clock and then I am leaving.' It would have been awful.
It's great for the boys to see hot girls fighting on roller-skates, but you've not just gone for wafer-thin model types. There's a real mix of sizes and shapes in the movie. Was that a conscious decision?
I think so. To me Kristen Wiig, I just fell in love with her. I think she has one of the most intense talents as a comedian and she is such a wonderful woman. I think that is so cool. And I love Juliette Lewis, who, to me, is a truly different animal but to me she is an amazing animal. I love variety and I celebrate that we are all born with different figures and have different senses of humour but I like it when girls have each other's back. I simply can't sit around and watch competitiveness. It bores me to tears and it does not make for anything attractive. I find it unattractive.
I hear your godfather, Steven Spielberg, was impressed with your directorial debut?
Yes, and I am so thrilled. I can't wait for it to come out. I will be so excited when it comes out in England. I have a film that I am excited about and proud of because I feel people there are so great, cool and fun and it is always a celebratory feeling when we do well in the UK, so I am always excited.
Whip It is released on DVD 16 August 2010