Drew Barrymore on Patrick Swayze

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Toronto International Film Festival, Day Six

Drew Barrymore/APIf it's Tuesday, it must be time to see "Youth in Revolt" staring Michael Cera. I'm beginning to feel like Viggo Mortensen in "The Road" where he tells his son that he thinks it's October but he's quit keeping track.

Yesterday started with the phrase that should be printed on publicist T-shirts:  "We running a little behind." I actually heard a woman the other day attempt to tell a photographer that even though they were running late, she was going to get him in earlier - or simpler a little less late. You're right, makes no sense.

But if you're waiting to talk to the delightful young star of "Precious" as I was, I wasn't about to bolt, even if Michael Moore was holding a press conference in another hotel many blocks away (I hustled over as fast as I could and caught the last part). Gabby Sidibe, who plays Precious, was nibbling on breakfast in a hotel suite, had shed her shoes and pulled back her hair - the anti-red carpet look. If, as promised, Oprah Winfrey explores the movie on her show, you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from her.

A familiar face, Drew Barrymore, is here with her directorial debut, "Whip It," set against the world of roller derby and although nursing a cold she has been working tirelessly to promote the film that features Ellen Page on the poster.

Barrymore wanted authenticity on screen and she got it.

"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 sees the real people doing the real action and the real stunts," Barrymore, her blond hair fringed with inky black at the tips, told a packed press conference today. "There's an authenticity there that you can't really fake. I also come from that school of like, we're here, we have trained, we're excited to get out there and show our expertise of the skills we fought so hard to learn, let's go for it.

"I also went in with that sort of ‘We're in it to win it' feeling. When we accomplished the weeks and weeks of not only roller derby training but then roller derby shooting is that I was able to go and film the nature of an intimate love story, and that was what I thought was so sort of appealing about this movie is because both of those things interest me on a filmmaker and an audience member level, so I felt like I was getting the best of both worlds, actually."

A couple of people raised the question of Patrick Swayze's death and it appeared that this was the first Barrymore heard of it. Asked what the world had lost with his passing from cancer, she said, "I feel as though I'm the wrong person to answer that because it's such a personal thing for the people who are close to him but I met him when I was 7 years old, he was the nicest man that one could ever, ever, ever know, he was a hero to us all from ‘The Outsiders' to all the wonderful films that he made. He was a pleasure to work with in ‘Donnie Darko,' and I'm actually finding out about this news right now in this conference so I'm in a bit of a shell-shocked state about it myself but I think [co-star] Eve said it best, which is just our blessings are with the people around him that knew him and loved him the best."


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