How Playing Undead Made Drew Barrymore Feel More Alive

Netflix's zombie comedy Santa Clarita Diet had a big impact on its star

By Chris Harnick Feb 11, 2017 12:00 AMTags
Watch: Drew Barrymore Feels Empowered by "Santa Clarita Diet"

For Drew Barrymore, playing a human flesh-hungry zombie real estate agent and mother came at just the right moment. Barrymore stars in Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet, a comedy from Better Off Ted's Victor Fresco, and told press she was particularly low when she read the part of Shelia, a mom who suddenly becomes a zombie, it helped her though a low point in her life.

"I think every woman could use an awakening in her life at some point," Barrymore told E! News.

"It's so true," her costar Timothy Olyphant joked.

Fashion Spotlight: Drew Barrymore

"It is," she said. "Sometimes we lose our confidence or our life goes one way when we thought it was going to go another. If you can make that empowering, and have this sort of great feminist excitement and enthusiasm that you had maybe previously lost—I got to have that through Shelia and I love her for it. And she was so fun to be—she is fun."

Shelia, after throwing up massive amounts of green vomit and what looks like an organ, becomes a zombie. She loses all of her self-consciousness and lives with abandon, whether that means telling off a neighbor or saying yes to a night out.

But back to that vomit for a second. There was a ton of it, which you can see in the trailer above, a whole room worth. And it covered Olyphant and Barrymore. Not even those involved are entirely sure what it was made out of.

"I don't really know," Fresco said. "There was some organic matter in it that made it very smelly as it fermented."

"It smelled way worse than real vomit," Barrymore said. "It curdled, so it smelled far worse than regular vomit."

But that wasn't the end of it. "Tell me, there was a soup that they put in your mouth," Olyphant said.

This soup came from a big company, which Barrymore had no problem with, until it had to stand in for her vomit. "Every time I'm going to look at a ‘A,' I'm going to think [vomit noise]," she said with a laugh.

Watch the video above for more from the Santa Clarita Diet crew. All episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Latest News