Drew Barrymore was emotional and broke down in tears during the press junket for "Riding in Cars with Boys." Feeling that promoting her movie during a time of war was "trivial," Drew decided to participate after taking to heart words encouraging Americans to get back to work.
"Riding in Cars with Boys" cast members gathered in Los Angeles for a round of questions from the media. Here's a collection of some of the best questions and answers from stars Drew Barrymore, Adam Garcia, James Woods, Brittany Murphy, Peter Facinelli, Sara Gilbert and Desmond Harrington.
DREW BARRYMORE (Beverly)
Does any of this character's wild youth reflect any of your experiences?
Yes, I related to Bev in that we were both considered "bad girls" for such different reasons. For me, because I sort of fell on my face in front of everybody, and because Bev got pregnant in Connecticut in 1965 at 15, and that's a no-no. To work from that place and to know that you're not a bad person and that you have dreams and goals, and things you would like to accomplish and give out into the universe - it's a very strange place to work from, when everyone thinks that you're a freak. But there is a fun challenge in it as well. I really respected Bev and I did relate to her on that level.
When you play her at 35, is any of that how you see yourself at that age?
In a few ways, yes. The way that I loved my son, who was truly my son, and the amount of pride and love and the deep connection and partnership that I felt with him - I can only hope to feel that way when I'm a mother. I can only hope to have a son who's so extraordinary. In some ways, I imitated my own mother on other levels because I'm not necessarily in some ways like Bev. I did little things that my mother did when I was growing up. My mom always strokes the back of my head and so I do that to Adam (Adam Garcia, who plays Drew Barrymore's son, Jason) all the time. She was constantly putting on lipstick which was so irritating to me growing up, so I did that a lot as Bev. It was interesting being in my mother's shoes for the first time because I really found myself respecting her. When I first started the film, I more related to Jason's character because I had seen my whole life in the child's perspective towards my single mother. It made me have a lot of room for forgiveness because I had to grow up and become a woman and a mother myself. This film really did make me grow up a lot.
What kind of resource was the real Beverly Donofrio in creating this role?
A tremendous one. Adam and I hung out with Bev and Jason all the time, and we really got to know them. It was amazing to have those guides to help you, and to not compromise them or sugarcoat them, but to play them for who they truly are. Bev and Jason have done a tremendous thing in this world, which is to have been honest and share their story. We just wanted to honor that and be true to who they were. You usually hope that your director will guide you on that - and Penny Marshall is the greatest guider of any director there is. She's meticulous, and adamant, and relentless, and wonderful. And so that made us better in what we did and we wanted to work hard for her. But it was an amazing resource to constantly have Bev and Jason to go to, to ask what was really going on.
How do you think the book affected Bev and Jason's relationship?
There is an incredible sense of liberation because a lot of families are not able to be so open and honest about the damages and the darkness - and the guilt - and a lot of the stuff that does go on in a family, other than the extraordinary love and how rewarding it is when that relationship is working and functioning. But the fact that they acknowledge some of the dysfunctions I think only opens them up as people and brings them closer together because they address the dancing elephant in the corner, and don't pretend it's not there.
How do you feel about this film's honest look at relationships?
Sometimes in Hollywood they do tend to sugarcoat things, at times. And that someone was brave enough, like Bev, to tell the story and then these people were brave enough to want to make this film which is a story that so honestly looks at the things we do in families - whether it's the selfishness or the questioning of the love. Hopefully, the end result will be yes, and that you want to try to be the best person that you can. I think if there was any reason why I wanted to do this so badly it was because of how honestly it looked at how we behave, and the daring, and unlikeabilities that this film gets into, because we go there as human beings and how embarrassed we've become because of them and how much we don't want to admit to people and then therefore, it doesn't get talked about. I love that this film goes there. Bev made me look at myself - I always try to pose myself as such a good person - and I question if I love people sometimes and I have selfish moments, and it's made me see myself more honestly because of her honesty.
How do you think Hollywood will react and move forward during this time of conflict?
I think that when events like this happen, you start to believe that you're the most trivial person on the planet. This morning, I did not know how to do my job and it took a lot of guidance and courage to be able to go on with the day, because I have no right to be speaking about anything right now, I feel. Someone that I truly respected said to me that the enlightenment of this is going to be an ongoing thing, and we are going to have to figure out how to live in that. And when you don't know how to do your job, then you must re-learn how to do your job. Press junkets are something that come to me so naturally; I've done so many of them and I really enjoy them, and I try to make "fun" with them. This is not that time, this is not that case. I've never done this, I've never worked in a time of war and I'm not experienced in this. I'm going to have to be learning how to live my life amongst an entire planet of people who are trying to figure it out. It's very unsafe when you don't know how to function and I look to all the people that inspire me. I'm going to have to trust myself on certain things which is very scary because you don't know if you'll do the right thing. I went and studied all the films that had come out during World War II and Vietnam, and it was interesting to see this particular industry still functioned, and that there was a need for it - whether it be the escapism in entertainment or to have extraordinary stories to relate to. That very same person also said to me that there is a reason that this film is coming out at this time. I think that this film is about needing to hear and say, "I love you." And if there is one thing that we've come to learn through the events of what's happened, it's that "I love you" are the three most profound words that we have. I think that everyone who is good on this planet is being so kind and gentle and patient with each other - and I expect that films will start to reflect that and maybe they will go back to a softer, more romantic, gentler side. I would love to see that happen - very much so.
Have you noticed that your own relationships with people have changed since Sept. 11th?
Absolutely. There's an extraordinary article in the "New York Times" about young people in New York and how that they believed that they were living the high life in the most cosmopolitan city in the world, and being single and having a social life was so freeing and fun to them. And, those very same people right now are sleeping on their friend's couches because they don't want to be alone. So, I have appreciated everyone that I have in my life, like I never have before. And like this film, your love does not come necessarily in the package that you would expect it does, or hope it does, so you look to those that love you and the family you have - with all its dysfunctions - and you accept them, and gravitate towards them. This film is about that. Because of this film, I spent Christmas with my mom this year and we hadn't spent 10 Christmas' together. I just thank God for times like this, and stories like this that make you a better, more open and accepting person, and take that love and give it back.
More Interviews with the Cast of "Riding in Cars with Boys" - > Page 2