The family comedy Blended sees recently divorced single mom Lauren (Drew Barrymore) on a disastrous blind date with widowed single father Jim (Adam Sandler). When they each sign up separately for an adventurous family vacation at a luxurious African safari resort, they are brought back together, this time with Lauren’s two sons (Kyle Red Silverstein, Braxton Beckham) and Jim’s three daughters (Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann, Alyvia Alyn Lynd).
During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore talked about how their friendship and chemistry has evolved over the course of doing three films – The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and Blended, how they each have their own families now, making comedies that are funny but also have heart, and the toughest part of being a parent. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
DREW BARRYMORE: I would sum it up with respect. It all stems from respect. I’ve always respected him. I love him. He makes us laugh. Aside from what we do together, I was so in love with the things that he did, like Saturday Night Live, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and everything else. I love him so much. He is so amazing. I just appreciate him.
ADAM SANDLER: You better print all of that, too.
BARRYMORE: He has such a gift. I have a giddy respect.
SANDLER: I love Drew. I’ve known her a long time. In all three movies, we’ve had the pleasure of falling in love. With the first two, I faked it. But with this one, I really did.
BARRYMORE: You fake it good.
With The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates and now this, how has your relationship progressed? Will you do an On Golden Pond kind of movie later?
SANDLER: Yeah, an On Golden Pond kind of movie would be great, but maybe with a few more jokes in it. We both have new things going on in our lives since The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates. We both have families. We’ve always stayed in touch and we’ve always been good friends. We check in on each other, as much as possible. No matter what’s going on, I’m always pulling for Drew, and she’s the same way, whenever I’m doing something. I know she’s pulling for me. We just have a nice friendship.
BARRYMORE: Then, every eight years, I call him up and say, “We need to meet for lunch.”
SANDLER: And then I say, “It’s time to do a movie.”
Did you do a lot of improvisation on this?
BARRYMORE: We got to improvise a lot, but we went into it with a great script. There are some movies where it’s a little more loose, or that are very strict and they won’t let you stray from the script. But with Adam’s movies, you also get to play. You have the comfort of knowing that you’re getting the goods, but then you have the awesome scary-excited feeling of knowing that you have to come up with fun stuff to do, on the day, to give them options in editing. It’s fun. The night before, you get weird ideas. It’s just awesome.
BARRYMORE: We did so many different versions of things, so the first time that I saw the film, I wondered which version they were going to pick, and they always picked my favorite, or what I thought was the best. That’s really cool because with some films, you’re like “There was good stuff in there that did not end up in the movie.” This is the opposite. All the gold came up.
Drew, your character has a lot of challenges, as a single mom. You’re not a single mom yourself, but could you identify with some of those challenges, as a new mom?
BARRYMORE: Yes. What really got me, reading the script, and what gets me when I watch the movie is that I want funny because I need to laugh, but I need heart and emotion. I want to laugh and I want to cry. They’re twins, laughter and crying. When these two people quietly talk about how they just want to be good parents, what is going to make their kids happy, and how they are going to function in this world, that just gets me. It made me cry in the script, and it makes me cry in the movie, especially when these kids say, “I need things.” When Bella [Thorne] and I did our scene together, I couldn’t get through it without crying. She’s a girl who needs a mom, and I can relate to that. I had times in my life where I really needed a mom. And I am now a mom. I’m going to be there for my kids. Moms are my Achilles’ heel, emotionally speaking. It was one of my favorite scenes to do in the movie because the mother is that emotional figure for all of us.
What are some of your challenges, right now, with two young children?
BARRYMORE: It’s great. I couldn’t be better. I can’t fake it. I’m really happy. Everything is just as good as it could possibly be.
Now that you both are parents, what did you discover about each other, as parents, while filming this movie?
BARRYMORE: He’s a good, loving, awesome parent, much like his character in the movies. That’s what I took away from it.
SANDLER: Same with Drew. She’s all about her kids.
These characters are committed to the idea that 99% of what you do is for the kids, and you use that other 1% for yourself. How have you dealt with that, in your own lives?
BARRYMORE: Because I’ve been pregnant for three years, I’ve been sitting on the couch in sweatpants, eating takeout and watching a lot of TV, and that makes me happy. I ate whatever I wanted and had a three-year love affair with food.
SANDLER: The difference when you have kids comes up when someone wants to meet you out after 9:30 at night. You consider that giant sacrifice. You’re like, “Do I do this? Do I stay out until 10:30 and be angry, all of tomorrow?
BARRYMORE: When [my friend] had her kid, she was like, “9:30?! I’m not living in Barcelona. I need dinner at 6.” I never got that until now. Four years ago, when I met her, I thought that was extreme. I was like, “I love Barcelona!” Now, I’m so mad when someone suggests an 8 pm reservation because that means we won’t eat until 8:30 or 9 pm. Forget it!
Adam, what’s it like when you show up at your daughters’ school?
SANDLER: I am the coolest. The best thing about our school is that you can go to lunch with your kids. You can just show up with In-N-Out Burger and your kid loves you more. That night, when they’re mad at you, you can say, “Remember, the In-N-Out Burger?!”
What’s the toughest part of being a parent?
SANDLER: The toughest part is that when your kid’s upset, you’re upset. You’re rocked until they’re not upset. Even when they’re not upset, you’re like, “I hope that doesn’t happen, down the line.” You’re always nervous because you want your kid to be happy. Now, I understand why my folks were so much about, “Be nice to your sister.” They made sure that everyone in the family was okay. The world is going to throw stuff at you that can hurt you, so you have to just make sure that your family gets your back. I get that a little more now.
Blended opens in theaters on May 23rd.