In her first foray into television, Drew Barrymore portrays Sheila, one half of a mild-mannered suburban couple (with onscreen husband Timothy Olyphant) selling real estate and raising their teenage daughter. One day, Sheila begins to crave the taste of human flesh.
At the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, Barrymore, Olyphant, and show creator Victor Fresco celebrated the premiere of the Netflix original series on Wednesday with lots of grisly props and a blood-and-gore-themed party.
Barrymore beamed on the red carpet as she fielded questions about her newest role, “The show is about human relationships and family. It goes beyond wacky.” Barrymore added, “When you think something could be the wrong timing for your life, it can be the thing that actually ends up making you a lot happier. This show gave something to my personal life. I needed a wake-up call. I was not in the best place, and it totally liberated me.”
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos concurred with Barrymore, “The scripts were so great. Everyone who read them wanted in. Drew was our dream choice for the role. What I loved about it was the humor and the story of this family. It’s a great fish out of water story.”
As for the show’s genesis, Fresco explained, “I wanted to try something with a big hook. I wanted to see a couple who had unconditional love for each other, which these two do, and what happens when something goes extremely wrong and how do they keep that love going?”
Fresco, a veteran of broadcast TV (“Better Off Ted”) praised the Netflix team. “Netflix brings a certain joy to the process that I haven’t seen a lot lately in network television,” he said. “Netflix likes their stuff to be serialized, which networks don’t like so much in comedies. They are willing to take a lot of risks and go with you, whatever you want to do.”
Olyphant was also very positive about his new gig: “I liked the script from the jump. Victor makes it easy. The writing is smart and witty. There was something odd about it, and something sweet and old-fashioned.” Olyphant smiled as he added, “There was a lot of vomit. I’m not sure I was expecting that much vomit. But y’know what? A little bit of vomit is gross, a lot of vomit is funny.”
For the post-screening party, the Lombardi House was meticulously decorated with fake (we hope) body parts in the fridge, blood spatter on the counters, gore-themed cookbooks and albums, and a bloody TV-show lineup on a Netflix house TV.
“Santa Clarita Diet” debuts Friday on Netflix.