[movieperson id="3815"]Drew Barrymore[/movieperson] moves slowly. After making her big-screen debut at the age of 5, the actress waited nearly three decades before grabbing hold of a director’s chair and yelling, “Action!” for her feature debut.
Her maiden directorial effort, [movie id="379060"]“Whip It,”[/movie] is anything but slow: It’s 111 minutes of girl-on-girl roller-derby action, punctuated here and there with a “Juno”-esque turn (minus the pregnancy) from [movieperson id="323117"]Ellen Page[/movieperson]. Page plays Bliss Cavendar, a disaffected teen with a suffocated soul in a small town where conformity’s the norm — and it sucks big time. Bliss ditches the beauty pageants her mom favors and hooks up with a rowdy crew of roller girls, including Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Zoe Bell and Juliette Lewis.
It might have been awhile since you strapped on your skates and went for a spin through your neighborhood, but MTV News has been ripping figure-eights around “Whip It” for a while. We’re more than prepared to give you a quick tutorial so you won’t find yourself zipping out of control before the movie rolls into theaters Friday (October 2). Strap on a helmet and get cracking with our “Whip It” cheat sheet.
Drew’s First Time
Don’t call it beginner’s luck. To hit a winner on her first film, Barrymore’s prime directive was preparation . “She was so visually prepared,” Lewis told us in August. “You can talk about scenes and emotion and acting crap all day, but at the end of the day, you have to shoot the shot. She knew what she wanted cinematically.”
“Drew managed to create an atmosphere like no other I’ve ever experienced,” seconded Page . “She just had this energy on set that was just tireless. She was just constantly giving to everyone at all times, always available — I don’t know how she did it. And my mind was consistently blown and very much inspired.”
Barrymore was so good behind the camera that there were rumors she’d be hired to direct “Eclipse,” the third of the “Twilight” films. Alas, that never happened.
The Stars and Their Bruises
The movie pits Page’s team (including Barrymore as Smashley Simpson, Eve as Rosa Sparks and Wiig as Maggie Mayhem) against Lewis’ squad of nefarious bruisers. And, oh, how many black-and-blues there were during the shoot.
“Let me tell you something,” co-star Eve said last year. “When you see this movie, we actually did those stunts.”
Throughout filming, Lewis promised herself, “I’m not sending Ellen to the hospital!”
This past summer, we started rolling out first looks at the film. First came the trailer, followed by an exclusive reveal of the poster, showing a heavily mascaraed, no-nonsense Page in neon-green derby suit and matching helmet. Another clip debuted late last month, showcasing the girls getting into gear for a match.
A day later, we captured all the red-carpet looks at the “Whip It” premiere and selected co-star Landon Pigg as our Hollywood Crush Hump Day Hottie. Finally, on Thursday we brought you yet another exclusive clip, because hey, you deserve it.
Taking it all together, you can see why Lewis would declare of the shoot, “We all felt like action heroes!”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Whip It.”
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