'Whip It' Premiere: Drew Barrymore, Alia Shawkat, Zoe Bell
Drew Barrymore chatted with SheWired at the Whip It premiere. Also on the 'black carpet' were co-stars Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, Zoe Bell, Juliette Lewis and special guest Steven Spielberg. Lesbian darling Barrymore extolled her newfound love of directing, the challenges she faced while multitasking as well as learning to skate during the production.
"I couldn’t have made it harder on myself if I tried." Such are the words of Drew Barrymore, the actress who makes her directing debut with Fox Searchlight's Whip It, which opens this weekend.
Barrymore — joined by the cast of the roller derby-themed film, derby girls in uniform skating the "black carpet" and other industry insiders at Tuesday night's Los Angeles premiere of the film in Hollywood — was clearly in her element. Looking ravishing as she was joined in the photo line by co-stars Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, Zoe Bell, Juliette Lewis and special guest Steven Spielberg, Barrymore extolled her newfound love of directing, the challenges she faced while multitasking as well as learning to skate during the production.
"It was so hard! There were days where I'd be out in the field or in production meetings and so immersed in that world and meetings that would get off track and then I would get on the (skating) track and I would forget about all the problems and things we had to do and figure out," she said.
"You just have to really switch hats," Barrymore added. "Hats don't look good piled on top of each other; they look really good when you wear them really well one at a time. So I just tried to compartmentalize and problem solve."
Shawkat (Arrested Development) added that Barrymore injected her energy into production.
"(Working with Barrymore) was wonderful," she said. "Right away meeting her, she's a very honest and genuine person and she has so much energy she gives out to everybody; she brought it to the set and was great. I love her."
Shawkat, who plays Page's best friend and non-skater in the film, added she had mixed emotions about skating in the film.
" I was a little jealous. Every time I'd see those stunt doubles, I'd be like, 'I want a stunt double!' But no, my character I had the most fun with; I wouldn't want to play anyone else," Shawkat said.
For Bell, the skating was a way to combine her two passions: stunt work and acting. The actress/stuntwoman who appeared as herself and did her own stunt work in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, said roller derby presented new challenges than her car work for Tarantino.
"Roller derby was difficult for different reasons because I hadn't been on skates since I was 6; being strapped to the bottom of a car (in Death Proof) was difficult because I'd never done it before in my life, but both directors were fun to work with," she said.
More on next page...
"Obviously they both have their individual style and flare," Bell continued. "The similarities between (Tarantino and Barrymore) are really strong: Their passion for making movies, their strong and direct vision that they both have; and their appreciation for actors and what actors bring. Quentin because he just loves actors and Drew because she loves actors and has been an amazing one for so long. I am truly spoiled. If I can keep doing acting and action acting for amazing directors like that — that's my plan."
Barrymore, meanwhile, said she enjoys being a part of the behind-the-scenes process that directing provides.
"I like being right next to the camera and working right there with the actors and rolling tape and continuing on," she said. "I like also being in there with the team because then you're like a coach rather than the owner of the team and they're different. One is in the fucking in box and in the trenches, and the other one is so far removed that they're out of touch. So I think the more personal you are, the harder you work, the more you embrace yourself with everyone, the more you're able to conduct a harmonious symphony."
Whip It opens Friday.
Find more great interviews and entertainment features from Lesley here!