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TIFF 2009 – Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page Whip It Into a Frenzy

At the press conference for Drew Barrymore’s Whip It, the combined up-and-coming star power was blinding, as Barrymore fielded questions alongside stars Ellen Page, Eve, and Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat.

Page explained that her roller derby training was exhausting — and exhilarating. “Honestly, the first things you start with is getting on and getting off (the track),” she said. “Just the logistics of that are just … it was strenuous and what have you, but I live for that stuff. I just absolutely love that. ”

I asked Barrymore if, considering the athleticism and speed of roller derby, she questioned making Whip It her directorial debut. Barrymore countered that the mix of drama and speed was what got her excited. “I was obviously always concerned with everybody’s safety. But in making the Charlie’s Angels movies, I know how exciting it is when an audience can see real people doing real action and real stunts,” she said. “There’s an authenticity there that you can’t really fake. I’m like, ‘We’re here, we have trained, we’re excited to get out and show our expertise … so let’s go for it.’ So I went in with a ‘we’re in it to win it’ feeling.”

At the same time, Barrymore was quick to explain that Whip It! isn’t all bone-crushing action: “What also excited me was when we accomplished the weeks and weeks of roller derby training [and] roller derby shooting, I was able to go and film the natural and intimate love story. That was what I thought was so appealing about this movie, because both of those things interest me as a filmmaker and on an audience member level. I felt like I was getting the best of both worlds.” 

For AMC News’ video interview with Juliette Lewis and Eve on making the movie, click here.

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