‘No words to express Manila visit’ – Drew Barrymore


Filipinos fans welcomed Holly­wood bigwigs Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant with deafening cheers as they walked the red carpet Monday night at the SM Mega Fashion Hall for the premiere of Netflix’s hit series, “Santa Clarita Diet.”

Even though they had to brave horrendous traffic before the event, the two were still very happy to mingle with fans, signing autographs and even taking selfies and groufies with them.

Overwhelmed by such love in the Philippines, the sweet, sweet lady from Hollywood said, “We’ve been practicing how to say I love you, I think it’s mahal kita!”

“There are no words for a moment like this. This is not like real life when you wake up everyday and try to take care of your kids wearing sweatpants. It’s surreal and it’s beautiful and it’s overwhelming, and I know a moment like this will stay with me forever because it is like a dream to be here. But this is real and we are honored to be here and we are honored by your presence. Really and truly, I will never forget this moment for the rest of my life,” she added as cheers grew louder and louder.

Overwhelmed by this welcome, the Golden Globe-winning actress tries to accommodate as many selfies as she can during the ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ red carpet premiere at Mega Fashion Hall PHOTO BY JOHN MICAH SEBASTIAN

This Manila visit was not the first time for both Barrymore and Olyphant. The Golden Globe-winning actress, who shot to fame as an adorable little girl in “ET” and later, “Charlie’s Angels” and “The Wedding Singer” among others, was in the country two years ago to survey the market for her cosmetics brand Flower.

Olyphant, on the other hand, surprised the audience when he confessed he lived in Davao when he was young.

“I used to live here [in the Philippines]. I lived in Davao. When I was young my father worked in Del Monte so we lived here for a little bit. And also, my great grandfather, he was the head of Engineering at the University of the Philippines,” the 49-year-old producer and former theater actor shared.

Family show
According to Netflix, they chose Manila for the regional premiere as a way of thanking Filipinos for their overwhelming patronage.

Santa Clarita Diet is a comedy-horror series that explores the struggles of a flesh-eating zombie in suburbia. Season 2 takes viewers back to the life of Sheila Hammond (Barrymore) and her family as she tries to control her more advanced and more aggressive undead state. With the help of her husband Joel (Olyphant), and their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson), they try to discover the origins of the virus to keep it from spreading and to save humanity—all the while trying to maintain a normal life.

Barrymore and ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ co-star Timothy Olyphant enjoy the ‘Pinoy dirty ice cream’ PHOTOS BY JOHN MICAH SEBASTIAN

“We try to kill bad guys so there are morals. I think at the end of the day the show is about a family who fights to stay together and make it work. And I think that’s relatable to anyone in the planet whatever the circumstances are. It’s optimistic and funny and happy show about this couple who has such crazy circumstances going on around them while trying to live their normal daily life,” Barrymore explained during the red carpet premiere.

The former child star furthered that while shows about the undead are nothing new these days, they are proud that they have received so much support from people around the world, the reason why they stepped up the second season.

“All you ever think when you’re trying to make something is, will anyone see it or will they enjoy it, or can we make something that helps you escape or laugh or be grossed out in this particular show’s case? This feels like maybe sometimes we’re working and there’s no one else around that feels very private and strange, and after that you wonder if anyone will ever see our show. Obviously, you guys are here and we are literally making this show for you to entertain you and to try bring a smile in you face,” Barrymore said.

Changing times
During an exclusive roundtable interview with local media earlier in the day, the duo—who are also executive producers of the series—shared in between the light banter how on demand streaming services has changed the viewing habits and the entertainment industry in Hollywood.

Answering The Manila Times’ question that brought about the topic, Barrymore declared, “The fact is, it’s the home theater where entertainment is right now. The only reason people go to the movies is because they want to see big, 10-fold comic type of films on the big screen and have that collective experience as fans of the genre.

No wonder the Hollywood visitors were floored—the scene at Mega Fashion Hall

“But the movie industry is very [much]in trouble [these days]because most people wait until they can watch it in their big flat screen home movie theater, where they can pee whenever they want and they don’t have to pay $40 for tickets and popcorn. And I really do think that movie theaters should have a change of policy because it’s a miracle anyone goes to a movie theater anymore,” she added.

Meanwhile, Olyphant, whose acting career spans over two decades, singled out online streaming devices like Netflix as the industry’s game changer.

“For me, I’ve done TV shows but no TV show [has]ever sent me to the Philippines to promote the show [until now]. And that’s a game changer,” he presented his case.

Barrymore seconded, “I also think, honestly, they [Netflix] are not afraid. They are extremely confident and they’re not worried about an opening weekends or what their audience wants. They do not pander; they are literally like, ‘we know it works; we are going with our guts. If there’s a problem we’ll change it and deviate and move to Plan B.’

“I think people in Hollywood right now are very concerned about being able to make their money back or be an award type of movie, so I just think there’s sort of a confidence and a playfulness and the willingness to take risk that this company is doing,” she averred.

Santa Clarita Season 2 will be available for streaming on Netflix on March 23.


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