Drew Barrymore

50 First Dates

Interviewed by Alana Lee

“The happiness just shines through! ”

Drew Barrymore first came to the world's attention as Gertie in ET: The Extra-Terrestrial over 20 years ago - directed by her godfather, Steven Spielberg. But it's only in the last few years that Drew Barrymore has hit the A-List with credits including Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, and The Wedding Singer, in which she starred opposite Adam Sandler. Now the two are reuniting for another romantic romp, 50 First Dates.

Was it fun to work with Adam Sandler again after The Wedding Singer?

It was so much fun! Adam's team and our company Flower Films [co-owned with Nancy Juvonen], we both saw this as an opportunity to really enjoy ourselves. The Wedding Singer was such a perfect experience and this was such a perfect experience. Maybe the happiness just shines through!

Having worked with Adam before, do you have an acting shorthand with him?

Adam and I ad libbed and improvised, and we had such a good time. You know the scene where Adam's character is trying to make me feel sorry for him at the side of the road and I pick up this stick and go after him? We ended up making such a big deal of it while we were shooting it, so it ended up being a much bigger scene than it was supposed to be. The crew was laughing so hard, which is very rare. It's hard to gauge whether something is good or funny, but I love to do whatever I can to make people laugh - including making a clown of myself.

Who made the initial approach for this onscreen reunion?

I did, actually. I have no problem letting people know what I'm thinking, or what my wishes and dreams are. I feel like, if you don't seize the opportunity and let people know where your head and heart is at, they're not mind readers and they might not know. Everything in life is worth the risk. When it came to The Wedding Singer, I said to Adam "I love your films. I loved you on Saturday Night Live. I am such a crazy fan of yours. I would love the chance to work with you. These are the things I have. What do you have?" And we ended up doing The Wedding Singer. Then on this film, my partner Nancy and I had read the script years before and loved it. When Adam's company acquired it, I just sat down at a typewriter and wrote him a letter explaining why I thought this should be the way we rejoin each other's company. It had such a strong story, and it was romantic, and thoughtful.

How did you go about conveying memory loss?

My boyfriend helped me research my character, which was really nice. You know, I think that every day has a new beginning whether you have your memory or not. Like the possibilities to overcome are always there, and certainly that's the way I live my life. But yes, there are people who have this condition and it is real. I think we were really sensitive to it because Adam's character is so beautiful, and kind, and patient, and inventive with my character. This is a guy who makes a girl fall in love with him every day. I think that's as good as you can get!