LOS ANGELES — She has been acting for over 25 years, and has dozens of films and a 10-year-old production company to her credit, but Drew Barrymore only now feels that she’s really come into her own.
“I just turned 30, and I’m really excited, because I feel like I’m at the best and most mature place of my life that I’ve ever been,” the actress/producer said. This month, Barrymore also received the Distinguished Decade of Achievement in Film Award at this year’s ShoWest convention.
“It’s great because it was the 10-year anniversary of our company [Flower Films], and it was an award about a decade in achievement,” she explained. “This was a great culmination of all these things sort of leading up to each other, and it just felt like the best time in the world.” Barrymore credits her recent success to learning to cope with her very difficult past. “It’s an absolute miracle,” she said. “If anything, this job has really taught me that you don’t do anything alone in this world.”
The actress may have more to celebrate when her latest flick, “Fever Pitch,” premieres in theaters on April 8. Directed by the Farrelly brothers (“There’s Something About Mary”), the film was adapted from a Nick Hornby novel and stars Barrymore as the girlfriend of a fanatical Boston Red Sox fan, played by “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Jimmy Fallon. Their relationship becomes strained when she has to take a back seat to her boyfriend’s first love — baseball.
“I think Nick Hornby’s novels are notorious for that time in a man/boy’s life,” she said. “And I think Jimmy’s at that perfect age where he’s becoming a man, but he still has that spontaneity and that youthful playfulness that’s really important. Plus, there’s an approachability to him that’s just really wonderful.”
Barrymore hosted “Saturday Night Live” three times while Fallon was in the cast, and has long wanted to work with the actor. “I’ve been a fan of Jimmy’s for a long time, and we were excited to see him in a romantic capacity and explore emotional depths with this character,” she said. “There just isn’t that room on ‘SNL’ to do that, because it’s a comedic venue.”
One aspect of “Fever Pitch” that Barrymore was very proud of was the authenticity of the actual game scenes. “When we [shot at Fenway Park], we did that at the end of a real game with real players on the field and real fans in the stands,” revealed the actress, who also produced the flick. “There’s just an energy about it that’s authentic, and I think you’ll feel it when you see the film.”
Next up for Barrymore is the Las Vegas-set flick “Lucky You,” directed by Curtis Hanson. (“I’m just like a panting dog all the time, like ‘What can I do? Mold me.’ I’m just so eager to learn from him.”) The film will also star Eric Bana, Robert Duvall and Debra Messing.
The former child actress fulfilled one of her youthful fantasies by providing a voice for the forthcoming “Curious George” movie. “I’m like the female lead to Will Ferrell’s Man in the Yellow Hat,” she said. She also voiced a character in an upcoming episode of one of her favorite shows, “Family Guy.”
As for her future as a producer, Barrymore wants to continue to make films she personally finds inspiring. “We’d rather just stay true to ourselves,” she explained. “It’s about really being in love with the things we do and not having a million development executives and eight things on our slate. That’s the way we have always worked, and I think we will continue to do so.”
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