Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Film That Drew on All of Barrymore's Experience

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Film That Drew on All of Barrymore's Experience

Article excerpt

WHIP It, based on the novel Roller Derby, is the story of Bliss Calendar, a young woman who has grown unhappy with the small-town Texas life of Friday night football and beauty pageants.

During a shopping trip to Austin, she picks up a flyer for a Roller Derby. She's invited to join and what ensues is a wild journey of love, life and finding the meaning of true happiness.

TORONTO (AP): Drew Barrymore chose a real balancing act for her directing debut. She does it on wheels, directing and acting alongside Juno co-star Ellen Page in Whip It, a rowdy tale of roller-derby women.

Barrymore had never put on skates before shooting the movie, spending a month alongside castmates learning the ropes in a roller-derby boot camp.

Her training as a director has been going on for years, since she began producing movies in the 1990s, her credits including her Charlie's Angels adventures and her Adam Sandler romance 50 First Dates.

Once they acquired the rights to roller-derby player Shauna Cross' book Whip It, Barrymore and producing partner Nancy Juvonen began casting about for a director. Before long, Barrymore realised this was the one she had to direct herself.

"I've been producing for 15 years, and it's all been preparing for the big test. I really care so much about what I do, and I love filmmaking so much. I love every detail and every aspect of it," Barrymore, 34, said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Whip It premiered in advance of its theatrical release.

"I think slow and steady wins the race, too. I didn't need to direct when I was 21. I wanted to produce and learn about the filmmaking process and understand every element going into it, so that by the time I did direct, I was as knowledgeable and well-prepared as possible."

Whip It stars Page as Texas teen Bliss Cavendar, who follows the path of her mum (Marcia Gay Harden), a former beauty queen overseeing her daughter's rise on the pageant circuit. …

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