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Drew Barrymore on Going the Distance

Published September 7, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Going the DistanceGoing the Distance
Drew Barrymore is one of this generation’s better rom-com queens. In movies like Fever Pitch, Music and Lyrics and 50 First Dates she’s a delightful love interest. She wanted to go a little edgier in Going the Distance.

Drew Barrymore Going the Distance

“I just wasn’t in that place in my life where I wanted to play a cuckoo, wacky role-reversal scenario,” she said. “Someone who can hang out with guys, and loves women, but has spine and is funny, I feel like I relate to that kind of person right now in my life. It was a pleasure for me to get to improv and work on a much more free-flowing way where you could play around and you don’t have to be so censored, because you had an R-rating. That, to me, was just an absolute pleasure.”

In the movie, Erin (Barrymore) meets Garrett at a New York bar. “One of the challenges I was most excited about was doing the drunk scene, and me and [director] Nanette [Burstein] really focused on what type of drunk is she, and what can we ad-lib, and what can be spontaneous. Like if you were really angry, how would you just let loose? It was the most fun day at work ever, because I just really let loose.”

Erin is from San Francisco. When her summer internship is over, they have to make the long distance thing work. “I just feel like I personally want something that I can escape into and sort of forget what’s going on around me but I don’t want to lose sight of being able to relate to something. So for me, I just want that beautiful striking balance. I feel like this film has that. I’m laughing but I’m crying and relating and emotional about it. I feel like it gets surprisingly real but then it does come and save you and make you laugh.”

Back home, Christina Applegate plays Erin’s sister. They have a lot in common in real life too, starting as child actors and living their lives in front of the media. “I thought it was interesting. I thought we started to really look alike, which I thought was cool. I love when people cast siblings that actually feasibly could have come from the same womb, so I felt like we started to morph. We used to be in a dance class together when we were kids, but she looked really good in spandex, and I did not. I celebrated it. I was horrified, in the corner, but I’ve known her forever! We have a lot of parallels. It worked for us.”

Going the Distance is out in theaters.

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