Bruises and beatings are a badge of honor in the roller derby world and Drew Barrymore took hers in pride while filming her new movie Whip It.
The indie flick, about a beauty pageant contestant turned derby girl, marks the 34-year-old’s directorial debut. Barrymore was on hand last night in Los Angeles with the stars Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis for a brief Q & A session for fans.
The event took place at the Doll Factory and people were treated to a game of the women’s bad ass sport before the cast made their appearance.
ComingSoon.net was there cheering on the girls and anxiously waiting to hear what Barrymore, Page and Lewis had to say.
Q: Drew, what guided your vision for the overall look and style of “Whip It”?
Drew Barrymore: When it came to the look and the style of the film, I remember meeting the lovely Shauna Cross, and I tried to film it cinematically the way that it felt… for me it felt a little Wizard of Oz’y. Like the world was black and white and all of the sudden Technicolor kicks in. When the lights came on and the Derby Girls came out, I thought “I can’t believe how cool and capable and amazing they are. They all have their own individual style, but they’re a team. They have this great camaraderie, I’m looking at the crowd and it’s like a yuppie couple, and a grandma and grandpa of one of the Derby girls, then like a 19 year-old-alterna-boy. I looked around and I thought, there is no one who is not accepted in this arena for who they are or their ethnicity, their economics or their style. This is such an un-judgmental world and that is the kind of party I like to go to.
Q: Ellen, what was it like training to do this?
Ellen Page: When I first came my mind was just shattered. I just couldn’t believe this world, the athleticism of these amazing women. At first I was just so excited and thrilled at the prospect of getting to know how to do this. I almost didn’t believe that I would be able to learn but I wanted to all the skating, I wanted to do everything I possibly could… All the Derby Girls were so kind because, you know, these are women who have jobs and lives and they would come in and scrimmage with me. I’d feel ready to vomit but they would just encourage me to keep going.
Q: Juliette, can you talk about the challenges for you and the hardest part of skating?
Juliette Lewis: A lot of us just want to do it justice. I can’t pretend to be as bad ass as a real Roller Derby Girl, but I can look the part. I really worked my ass off. I was just trying to work my form and try to get fast and get low.
Q: Who had the biggest bruise or injury?
(Everyone pointed to Drew)
Barrymore: I bruise really easily anyway, but there is this awesome skater from Detroit, Racer McChaser, and her and I got to wrestle each other. I think there’s nothing hotter or more fun to do than a girl fight. So we were wrestling and rolling around the track at one point and both of us fell on one of our skates and put both of our body weights on my thigh on the skate so the skate jammed in my thigh. I had a bruise that I’m not kidding was a foot long and a foot wide. My entire leg was covered. I was like, “Yeah, that’s a merit badge. That’s cool.” But thank God we were encouraged by Derby Girls but they never babied. You’re like, “Oh my feet, I’m dying.” They’re like, “Uh-huh, keep skating.” That’s the way you learn in life, by people supporting you, teaching you the techniques, taking the time, giving you tough love, supporting you, making sure you’re doing it right. You form this family and you’re excited to come back to each other and that is what this film is about. Finding a tribe where you can be capable and learn things and do things and celebrate them together. Our training was imperative because we learned when we got better that they were tough on us and it made us better.
Whip It hits theaters on Friday, October 2.