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Following her daytime talk show debut, Drew Barrymore sat down (virtually, of course) with The Late Show host Stephen Colbert on Wednesday night to share the challenges and nuances of working on a comedy during a nationwide pandemic.
Introducing Barrymore as an actress, director, producer, entrepreneur and bestselling author, Colbert asked his guest at the top of the interview why it has taken her this long to get behind the desk as the host of a talk show. As Barrymore explained, she trusts her instincts and felt like now was the appropriate time for her to step into this position. Not only that, but the actress also expressed some relief that a project like this didn’t happen earlier.
“I think it was better for me to go through a lot of different evolutions… ” Barrymore said, adding that although much of her life has been exposed through her profession, she has always expressed herself through different characters while bringing a little bit of herself “to the party.” She went on to say, “I don’t think I would have done at least what I’m hopefully excited about doing and capable of now, at any other point.”
“The late-night host quipped, “You’ve been an actress your whole life, and now you have to be yourself, and you like it.” He referenced a phrase she has used to describe her show, bringing “late-night to daytime” and asked Barrymore to explain what that means to her, which prompted a brief joke from the actress about having a drink during the day.
“Comedy to me was a subconscious survivalist mechanism,” the actress then said, striking a serious note and speaking of a certain time in her life.”When I was laughing, everything else fell away and the world was awesome, it was okay.”
Barrymore went on to share that while no one lives a life that escapes hard times — alluding to the particular relevance of the coronavirus pandemic — “I think laughter is medicine, and it’s necessary and we need it.” Colbert added, “Laughter is the best medicine, next to actual medicine.”
The late-night host later asked Barrymore how she handled things when she had to stop production back in March at the start of the lockdowns, even though there were many moving parts of her show that had to be worked on. There is a documentary, Barrymore said, of that exact experience, in the works. “It was rather fascinating to me to see how we pulled this off,” she said, pointing to the many restrictions due to COVID-19 and noting how the altered work environment actually encouraged a different mentality and determination to put everything together.
Barrymore, who was most recently seen in Netflix’s zombie comedy Santa Clarita Diet, wants to make the show of “tomorrow,” because “the rulebook is on fire.” Briefly describing the show, she said that it has “the gentleness of old television” combined with “the comedy we all love.”
The Drew Barrymore Show premiered Sept. 14 on CBS.
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