DREW BARRYMORE WOKE THE DEAD
Your summer Netflix binge is bloody empowering.
Is it possible to make Drew Barrymore unlikable? Even when she’s murdering her neighbour, feasting on his flesh and burying the evidence in her backyard, you still kind of maybe want to be her best friend. Case in point: Netflix’s series Santa Clarita Diet, which is now in its second season. Barrymore’s character, Sheila Hammond, is a suburban real estate agent who snacks on humans—you know, like a cannibal. “I am not a cannibal!” asserts Barrymore, obviously offended by the label. “I’m a zombie. It’s very different. Cannibals kill by choice because they’re assholes, and zombies kill because they can’t help it.” Plus, if Barrymore—who has been a producer since 1999’s Never Been Kissed—is involved, you know there’s going to be a counterintuitive, unassuming feminist angle, since unassuming feminism is kind of Barrymore’s MO. And there is, because zombies can be an empowering onscreen force, especially when they’re women. Zombies live in their id: They say what they want to say, they do what they want to do and they live their eternal, supernatural existence unapologetically unfiltered. In a twisted, weird and totally wonderful way, Sheila is made better by her undeadness: “I find her incredibly empowering,” says Barrymore. “I always say ‘She woke me up.’”
Although, in this situation, woke isn’t necessarily a good thing: “I had to walk away from a situation this weekend,” she says. “I was going to Sheila-out on this guy. It was just a guy in a movie theatre—nobody big in my life. He said I was late to the movie and he wouldn’t let me in. I had fantasies of leaping across the table, grabbing him by the lapels and eating his face off,” she says with warm eyes and an affectionate smile. “But that isn’t the right thing to do—obviously.”
Only it is when our best friend Drew does it.