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Dark role digs up Barrymore’s anger at past

Drew Barrymore has admitted taking on one of her most grown-up roles to date in HBO’s “Grey Gardens,” alongside Jessica Lange, left a big impact on her life.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Drew Barrymore has admitted taking on one of her most grown-up roles to date in HBO’s “Grey Gardens,” alongside Jessica Lange, left a big impact on her life.

Barrymore told ELLE magazine’s May issue that playing Little Edie Bouvier Beale, a woman who goes from socialite to living with her mother in a deteriorating house, cut off from the world, made the actress take stock of her own life.

“I realized I probably felt like Little Edie did,” Barrymore told the mag of the realization she came to while making the movie in Canada. “I felt she was really in pain inside. And I was starting to feel less optimistic.”

The actress, known for being bubbly and taking roles in romantic comedies such as “He’s Just Not That Into You,” “Never Been Kissed” and “The Wedding Singer,” made it her goal to get the part of Little Edie alongside Lange, after being moved by writer/director Michael Sucsy’s script.

Though he didn’t want her for the role at first, Barrymore went out of her way to convince Sucsy she was right for “Grey Gardens,” turning up to a meeting with a scrapbook, looking lithe and dressed in character.

And on the set, she kept up the same seriousness she imbibed while seeking out the part.

For starters, she cut out all electronics from her life and communicated infrequently — only via typewriter.

Barrymore said having time in Toronto to just think when she wasn’t on set acting, brought out some self-realizations.

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“I was so mad at some of the things that have happened in my life, and all I ever wanted to say was, ‘No-no-no, I am fabulous, I am happy, I can take care of myself. Don’t worry about me. I am totally professional,’” she recounted.

“But you know, maybe everything is not f****** OK all the time. Maybe just growing up so unorthodox, having everybody know my business since I was 7 years old …” she trailed off.

Another thing Barrymore isn’t OK about? Getting older. The actress turned 34 in February.

“I’m freaked out about how fast time is going,” she told the magazine. “Now I get why adults are always so encouraging to young people — like, ‘Enjoy it! It’s magic!’ I would say that when (Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti) and I broke up and I got ‘Grey Gardens,’ and I finally got the green light for the movie I directed (“The Whip”), I was like, ‘The magic is gone, the magic potion has dissipated, and this is your life — how do you want to live it?’”

And Barrymore offered one other tidbit from her life — her career is going great. Just don’t ask about her romantic life.

“I’m prolific at work, not at sex,” she said.