Thinking of pizza keeps Drew Barrymore going

The Santa Clarita Diet actress says she thinks of food when chowing down on human body parts in the comedy series

Actors Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore greeting fans at an event in Bangkok yesterday to promote the second season of Santa Clarita Diet.
Actors Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore greeting fans at an event in Bangkok yesterday to promote the second season of Santa Clarita Diet.PHOTO: NETFLIX

American actress Drew Barrymore looks like she has a blast every time she is chowing down on those bloody human body parts in the zombie comedy series Santa Clarita Diet.

Chalk it up to good acting because all of it "always tastes disgusting", she said.

Speaking to regional media yesterday at a press conference in Bangkok to promote the second season of the show, she added that the parts are made up of different ingredients, so she never knows what to expect.

"I get surprises every day and there's nothing I've tried that would make me want to go back for more.

"It could be a dehydrated apple or a weird rubber that they make sweet, or sometimes, it's fermented rice or a wet cake. None of it tastes good, but I enjoy the humour of acting," said the 43-year-old.

"I pretend that I'm eating something good. I love food, so I just have these food fantasies. Like, mmm, pizza."

In Santa Clarita Diet, Barrymore plays realtor Sheila, who has to deal with her sudden need to eat human flesh. The second season will launch on streaming service Netflix on March 23.

Playing her husband Joel is American actor Timothy Olyphant, who chooses to stick by her no matter what - even if it means helping her to murder people.

Olyphant, 49, who was also at the Bangkok event, said: "It's getting harder to be supportive, but he's doing the best he can."

Despite all the graphic gory scenes in the show and the nature of her character, Barrymore insisted the series is ultimately about family and love.

She said: "The show is about a good marriage and the sacrifices they have to make in order for this family to work. The type of love and sweetness that the family members have for one another is a great antidote to the blood and the killing."

After almost four decades of making films, Santa Clarita Diet marks Barrymore's first foray into television - and she has loved every minute of the experience so far.

"I didn't know what it would be like to go to work every week and receive a new script. Because what if you don't like the script? What do you do? You're stuck.

"But much to my delight, I love reading the scripts every week and the (cherry) on top is that I get to act them out. At the read-throughs with the executives, the writers and the other actors, it's like doing mini-theatre every week. It's a whole new world for me. I took a gamble and I am the luckiest girl in the world."

Olyphant, who has acted in television shows such as Justified (2010 to 2015) and Damages (2009 to 2010), has also enjoyed himself.

"I've spent my whole life trying to get out of read-throughs. But the scripts are great, so the read-throughs for this are solid.

"The show is just so refreshing."

• Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 launches on Netflix on March 23.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'Thinking of pizza keeps Drew Barrymore going'. Subscribe