DREW BARRYMORE has been Hollywood’s sweetheart since her appearance as a six-year-old in Steven Spielberg’s beloved ET (1982). As a producer and actress, she has donned many hats over the decades, but now she will be seen in a new medium. As the lines blur between cinema and television when it comes to content and reach, we are seeing more movie actors cross over to television, with outlets such as Netflix and Amazon. Barrymore, after a string of hit movies took time off to look after her children and has now returned to acting in the Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet, a dark comedy about a mother who dies and comes back to life and thrives on eating human flesh.
Why did you decide to do this series?
It came to me at a time when my life was at a low point and when I read the script, it made me laugh. It’s a metaphor of how a marriage functions. It is also a metaphor that the craziness of our world is echoed in the craziness of the circumstances that the characters find themselves in. In this day and age when we are so far advanced, people would not find the comedy of the 50s satisfying; we’ve just come too far.
Talking about technology, I see you have more than 4 million followers on Instagram.
It’s a few more. I don’t want to boast, but it is 8.5, which is crazy. It is fun, I run my own Instagram. I started it myself. I did not have any sponsorships. I just try to make it an authentic portal so that I can share with people all the things that I am interested in, like wine and art. Now Netflix is excited to use it for Santa Clarita Diet because it’s gained momentum over time, so it’s really a personal thing, a business thing for me. I try to show all the things that I love in life. I love writing and it’s a great way because I don’t have the time to sit down and write another book. Instagram is a wildly successful and dynamic platform and I actually like it because I put some videos on there occasionally, but I really like just a still image that you can write with.
You mentioned wine. Do you produce it? How did you get into it?
Well, I produce Pinot Grigio and Rosé. As to how I got into the wine business, my business partner for many years, Chris Miller, who has been with me for 28 years... we formed a film company together. One day we were driving on the Pacific Coast Highway and he was like, ‘I got a call from this wine distributor asking if you would be interested in making wine,’ and I said, ‘Well, we would have to name it after my grandfather, obviously!’
We went to Italy, we studied and got educated in the Delle Venezie region,where some of the finest pinot grigio grapes are grown. I started to understand distilling and bottling mostly. Obviously, I was not crushing grapes. You don’t want me making things in your kitchen, let alone wine. But I was really into how it tasted; it was a fun and cool education. It is such a side step for me. I only focus on it a certain percentage of my time. I really love the juice and it’s a really neat world to step into and learn about every type of grape and region. It’s been a passion and something fun for me.
Do you have your own winery?
Not yet, but I would love to. I actually made one for another company and it is called Drew’s Blend and I modelled it after a Beaujolais and Pinot Nero because they are my favourite reds. I used to love Merlot. I can’t believe that it is a dead industry or such a difficult industry, but I think that it will be the next big one—that’s my prediction. Merlot will explode because there’s so much room for that. To think that a movie like Sideways (2004) killed an industry, it’s so wild. That is the power of film.