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Music & Lyrics - Drew Barrymore interview

Drew Barrymore in Music & Lyrics

Interview by Rob Carnevale

MUSIC & Lyrics star Drew Barrymore talks about generating the right chemistry on film, her passion for love songs and whether she enjoyed singing on film.

How hard is it to generate chemistry?
Drew Barrymore: I think chemistry is finding something you love about a person and then transfering it to an in love kind of thing. Of course, out of respect I didn’t want to fall too in love with Hugh and scare the ever-loving crap out of him. I just thought about all the things I adore about him. He’s a mad texter, he texts all the time on set. I like the mole on the side of his face which I called “Moley” and I would channel Moley.

Where were you in 1987?
Drew Barrymore: I was out at clubs dancing to music and buying vinyl with my girlfriends at the record store. I was into alternative music when punk turned into Joy Division and New Order and that kind of stuff, and The Clash and all that. Then there was Prince and Madonna and Wham and Elton John, and all sorts of fun concerts to go to. I thought the 80s were fun and carefree and I miss that. I liked the pop music from that time. I mean Cindy Lauper, how can you not enjoy in your heart that beautiful voice and the fun in her music.

How did you enjoy singing in the film?
Drew Barrymore: I have to say the process was really interesting because the man who recorded us, Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, got us really comfortable in the recording studio and it just sort of got to the point where he made me so comfortable. I really was the girl who sings like [mumbles very quietly] and he said, “no you have to go for it” [loudly]. He made us so comfortable.

But it’s all about confidence and allowing yourself to put your personality into it. I really am the worst singer on the planet; I make people cry and vomit when I sing, so it was so much fun when I heard Hugh’s voice and I heard us together, I was so excited. I played it to all my friends. I was so proud of it.

How susceptible are you to romantic songs and lyrics?
Drew Barrymore: I did write a song while we were filming this movie but it wasn’t for anyone, it was about things from my past. I should attempt to write a love song, I have written lots of poetry about love so I could turn those into lyrics. I’m a sucker for romance – always have been, always will be. I love walking down the beach and listening to my iPod and belting them out. What would we do without love songs?

Do you have a favourite?
Drew Barrymore: I have too many to know where to begin. Literally millions.

Did having had a relationship with a musician in real-life make it easier to play your character?
Drew Barrymore: [Smiles] I do love the world of music. My whole life, I’ve collected records, gone to concerts, that sort of thing. And I did date a musician but I didn’t live in that world and I think my character doesn’t live in that world, so she doesn’t know it. So I drew on the very naïve aspect of my self and didn’t really draw from my personal experiences because it wouldn’t apply to her.

You began your career by kissing ET. Now it’s Hugh Grant. Do you still get nervous about kissing on camera?
Drew Barrymore: I always get nervous before a kissing scene. I make sure I always brush my teeth and eat lots of fruit and nice foods rather than garlic. I’m terribly self conscious. Just when you think you’re hitting your stride someone will shout “cut” and ask you to move your head to the left. It’s such an awkward process. You try to make it passionate but it ends up being mechanical.

Read our review of Music & Lyrics

Read our interview with Hugh Grant