Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are two of the most likable, generally endearing actors in Hollywood – and the best news is that in person, they’re every bit as affable and adorable as the characters we’ve grown to love.
The two have quite the movie-making history. Their first time working together was back in 1998 with The Wedding Singer, which Barrymore recounts as sort of kismet. “I called him because I [knew] that we’re supposed to partner up,” she said.
About six years later later, the pair reunited to star in 50 First Dates.
“When we found 50 First Dates, I actually sat down to a typewriter and I wrote him a letter crying. And I was, like, I know this is the one. I know it. I know it. I know it. And then he got the letter,” recalls Barrymore.
“And I said I better do this, or something bad is going to happen,” joked Sandler.
But their latest movie is a departure from the traditional romantic-comedy formula in that it takes a frank look at the challenges of dating as a single parent.
In Blended, Barrymore plays a divorced mom of two who goes on a disastrous blind date with a widowed father of three (Sandler) and through a series of predictable twists, later finds herself stuck with the same guy at a resort in Africa on a weeklong adventure for families who aren’t so traditional.
While the set-up might feel somewhat cliched, the real beauty of the story comes from the honest depiction of family relationships in all forms – from fragile and frustrating to the fleeting moments of boundless joy.
So how did Blended come about?
In Sandler’s words, “We had lunch and she said, come on, I think it’s time we should do another movie. And then, a few months later a friend of mine, my daughter and his son are in the same class. He showed me the script, and I loved it. And I called Drew, I said, you got to read this script. I think this could be the one. And then, you called me that night….
“Yes, because I sat down to read it immediately. And it was special. I locked myself in my closet and read it, which sounds weird, but it wasn’t. And I laughed and I cried, and that’s what I care about in life. I want to laugh, and I want to cry. I think laughter and crying are twins. And they’re the same thing seesawing together.”
Has having children changed the types of projects you take on?
“Since I had my kids, I have done some movies that are a little heavier,” said Sandler. But it felt great about making this movie. It’s about respect for parenting and being a good parent, and a respect for putting your kids first, and being true.”
In the film, your character relates how his terminally ill wife urged him to re-marry and find a new partner after her death. Was it difficult for you to imagine that situation?
“Look, I love my wife… And that’s a hard thing to talk about,” he said. “In real life, when I’m with my wife, I tell her that’s it. It’s me and you, and god forbid anything ever happen to either one of us, I tell her, you should move on. Move on with somebody else, and have a good time.
But, I tell her, that’s it. I’m done. So, when I watch the movie, I feel a little, like, ah, that’s the only thing that hurts is that my guy does move on, but it makes sense in the movie.”
Last but not least, and yes we have to ask.. was Drew pregnant during the filming of movie?
If you’re any good at math, this question might have crossed your mind given the timing of the birth of Barrymore’s second daughter, Frankie, this past April.
“I was at the end of the movie,” she said with a smile.
“For about 10 scenes…” Sandler added. “Yes, Georgia had a special humidity.”
Blended opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 23. You can check out the trailer below: