Drew Barrymore follows a strict diet and workout regimen when filming her hit comedy Santa Clarita Diet. But when the Netflix series goes on hiatus, the actress says she turns immediately to “pigging out.”
The 43-year-old actress — who plays a mom-turned-zombie on the show — said she diets to fit in with the presumed look of her character, who has adopted a high-protein diet of only human flesh.
“Let’s face it, I hate it,” Barrymore said of her diet during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Wednesday night. “I would much rather eat fettuccine alfredo all day long.”
But she landed the role during a turbulent time in her life, soon after her split from ex-husband Will Kopelman, and wanted to use the role to transform her own lifestyle.
“When I first started the show, I was 145 lbs. and my life was kind of falling apart,” she said. “And I said, ‘Victor [Fresco, the show’s executive producer], can I lose 20 lbs. over the course of the show, and change my eyebrows and the height of my shoes and the body language and attitude and go from someone who’s kind of naïve and unhappy to someone who’s empowered and alive?’ And he said yes, and so I got to make that transformation.”
Barrymore successfully ditched those 20 pounds during filming, documenting her healthy meals, workouts and weight loss wins on social media. But since wrapping season two of the show, she admits that she has regained her lost pounds.
The actress said she doesn’t mind her extra weight, but her mother, daughter and even a stranger commented on the size of her body in a single week.
While leaving a restaurant with her friends and all of their kids, she told Corden that a woman stopped her.
“She’s like, ‘God, you have so many kids,’ and I go ‘Well not all of them are mine, I just have two.’ And she’s like, ‘Well, and you’re expecting, obviously.’ And I just looked at her and go ‘No, I’m just fat right now,’” Barrymore said. “And I walked out of the restaurant and I was like, ‘Oh man, that is rough.’“
While she called the stranger a “b—“ and admitted the comment hurt, Barrymore said she’ll continue her plan to enjoy foods during her off time, then jump back into her strict regimen when she is called back to set.
“When I’m doing the show I’m a vegan and I barely eat anything, and I workout every day, and it’s so healthy,” she said. “It gets to be euphoric, and then it’s like food poisoning, you feel like you’ll never eat again, and then before you know it you’re pigging out with the feed bag strapped to your face. And I’m a foodie, and love food and I travel the world for food, so I get heavy again between the show.”
She admitted that her process has worked out thus far, and she heard that another iconic actor follows a similar schedule.
“I heard Denzel Washington does this and I don’t know because I just want to believe it, I don’t want to know it’s not true. But he just enjoys his life and then pulls himself back together when he’s doing movies and looks amazing,” Barrymore said. “So I’m giving it the full ‘Denzel,’ even if that exists or not.”
Season two of Santa Clarita Diet premieres March 23 on Netflix.