She is one of the most versatile women in the film industry, having accomplished everything from starring in numerous hit motion pictures and lending her voice in animated films, to producing and directing film and television projects and achieving a Golden Globe.
He has established himself in both the television and film industry and added writer, director, and producer to his resume for his work in the 2009 film Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.
Together, they make a delightful, complimentary team both onscreen and in person. Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski star in the soon-to-be released film Big Miracle, which depicts the incredible story of three whales that brought the world together in one of the most unifying international efforts to date. The film is based on the Tom Rose’s book Freeing the Whales and Operation Breakthrough.
As we sat down to speak with Barrymore and Krasinski, we talked about the preparation involved with portraying characters in a film that is based on a true story. “You can’t get it wrong,” states Krasinski. “The story [is] so incredible that you want to make sure the movie [is] as incredible as the story, which is very, very difficult to achieve.” Krasinski recalls the very first time he read the script. “It’s really, really good,” stated Krasinski. “I just think we’ve got to pull back some of these storylines, [because] nobody [is] going to believe them,” he remembers telling Director Ken Kwapis. As Kwapis explained to Krasinski that the stories were all true, it blew his mind and he knew that there was something very special about the film that would bring people together.
What’s interesting about the relief effort is the integral role media played in uniting people all over the world to rally and garner support. “It was media that got this story out to begin with,” states Barrymore. In the 80’s, where social media was virtually non-existent, news was spread via paper and television. Social media has revolutionized everything from online shopping to breaking news, giving users access to information in real time. The amount of support and resources that were generated for Operation Breakthrough was incredible. Can you imagine the response today? Both Krasinski and Barrymore recognize the power of social media. “I personally believe that the time to believe in speaking up and having a voice and what can I do to help and all that is now,” remarks Krasinski. ” One Tweet, one Facebook page, one anything can start an entire movement for your favorite charity. You can get a pothole filled on Main Street. Or, you can go all the way and start a revolution and be out in the streets of New York and start a national campaign, you know?”
As I mentioned above, the film is based on a true story, and while there are a few fictional characters added in, most are people who had a very real presence during this operation. Drew Barrymore portrays Rachel Kramer, a character based on environmentalist Cindy Lowry. To prepare for the role, Barrymore and Lowry spent quite a bit of time together. The initial relationship began as you might expect with Barrymore interviewing her to get a true sense of this woman and her role during the operation. “We would hike and we would eat and we would wake up and talk, and we just really got to know each other, Barrymore recalled. Eventually, “the recording devices went by the wayside because I just really enjoyed being with her, and it all started to resonate.”
Barrymore, like her character, is simply amazing and I really got a sense of that during her interview. She’s passionate, humble, eloquent, and poised. In the film, Rachel Kramer (played by Barrymore), repeatedly puts herself on the line to save the three California gray whales, including going so far as to jump in with them (which Barrymore in fact did), which was actually quite a dangerous endeavor given the fact that they are highly protective of their calves. It’s that passion…that resolve to make a difference that I appreciate in Barrymore and Lowry.
During our interview, Barrymore recounted a particularly intriguing story that sheds some light on Lowry’s personality. While up in Alaska, Lowry attempted to gather information about a man who she suspected was hunting wolf (which is illegal) by peering at him at night with a pair of binoculars, in an attempt to gather information to take him to court. At the time, Barrymore thought, “That’s creepy and awesome and cool and thorough and must have been cold and dedicated and sneaky, and I just like you.” Before filming, Barrymore and Director Ken Kwapis discussed Cindy and Rachel’s character. “[She] is the type of person who is very passionate and sometimes makes a mess when she is trying to get her passion across and I think you’re a lot like that, too,” recalls Barrymore of her conversation with Kwapis. Barrymore appreciated Kwapis’ insight and really utilized that as her character developed throughout the film.
Drew Barrymore is a longtime animal and human rights activist. She continually strives to become “more philanthropically aware.” See her and John Krasinski in the soon-to-be released film Big Miracle, which opens in theaters this Friday, February 3rd.
Are you on Twitter? One hundred randomly selected followers who tweet with the hashtag #everybodyloveswhales will win a Big Miracle T-shirt! Be sure to visit the Big Miracle Infographic for some interesting facts about whales.
You can read my previous interview with Vinessa Shaw and Bonnie Carroll here.
No compensation was received for this post. I was invited to the Big Miracle Press Junket, courtesy of Universal Pictures.