Just before sitting down with adorably gorgeous in real life Drew Barrymore (seriously so beautiful!) and the uber-charming John Krasinski (let me tell you… dude knows how to work a room of moms) at a table with other “mom” bloggers, I asked on Breezy Mama’s Facebook page if anyone had any questions. Immediately I started receiving emails and was loving it! Though we were instructed to not ask Drew anything personal, we still were blinded by her engagement ring and I was able to get some questions in… most important request I received from a few people? To get John’s number. Read on to find out how he responded, how it was for them to film Big Miracle in Alaska (inspired by a true story to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle that’s in theaters February 3), why Drew feels she’s insane and to chuckle over the li’l E.T. reference John made.
John Krasinski: Hi everybody. This is quite a good looking crowd.
Drew Barrymore: I know.
John Krasinski: I feel really intimidated. I actually get to say that, though.
So, we really all enjoyed the movie and I was wondering if preparing for a role in a movie that’s based on a true story takes more work and more research?
Mr. John Krasinski: Yes, you can’t get it wrong as much. It’s an important thing. Especially this one, the story’s so incredible that you want to make sure the movie’s as incredible as the story, which is very, very difficult to achieve.
That was actually gonna be my question is if this were to happen today, given social media, what do you think each of your characters would have done?
John Krasinski: There’s an app to save whales. It just goes like that.
Drew Barrymore: If there’s not, there should be.
John Krasinski: Exactly.
Drew Barrymore: I think that they’re completely connected in the way that it was media that got this story out to begin with. And that was sort of the big catalyst. So, I think that’s amazing considering it was such a different time, and now that’s exactly the way things are happening.
Are you guys on social media?
John Krasinski: –I’m not. I’ve got to get with it. I’m going to. I’m going to. I actually had a friend at dinner finally tell me way too blatantly, actually. It was in the middle of dinner and we were talking about something else and he said, “You’re completely stupid for not being on Twitter yet.” And I was like, okay, I’m gonna have the steak.
And then, now, I really do think it’s an incredible tool to communicate to so many people. But, you do have a responsibility with it. And I think that responsibility is coming a lot more into focus.
Are there things that Cindy [Lowry] really wanted you to portray in your depiction of her?
Drew Barrymore: I was also really interested in her childhood and what she was like as a young woman. I asked her, “who are you? I want to know what makes you tick.”
How much time did you spend with her?
Drew Barrymore: Quite a lot. We met up in New York and spent some time. I started interviewing her and putting the microphone down and just recording hours and hours of her talking. And then, she came out to LA and stayed with me, and we stayed together for a while. And then, she came out to Alaska for the whole beginning of filming.
We would hike and we would eat and we would wake up and talk, and we just really got to know each other. And definitely, the recording devices went by the wayside because I just really enjoyed being with her, and it just all started to resonate.
And I was glad that we really genuinely got along versus that sort of faux connection. I thought, all right, all right, I like you so much, this is gonna be so great. Okay, I want to do this justice. And she’s a really feisty woman, too, which I like.
Is it harder to play someone, a real person as opposed to a fictional character?
Drew Barrymore: I mean, in some senses, it’s hard. If you’re playing somebody people know, then the imitation is so excruciatingly intimidating because I would wish that I just didn’t exist and I could just be that person. And I sort of get really angry at myself that I’m even in the way of just the best imitation I can try to study.
But then, you think, no, I can’t get rid of myself, so how can I add to this.
What was it like working with the automated animatronic whales? Is it harder to work with kids, puppies or electronic whales?
John Krasinski: Or aliens [ahem!].
Drew Barrymore: I like it all.
John Krasinski: Yes, the animatronic whales were really unbelievable. They were so well done. These guys from Australia built them and engineered them and then were working them. And it was kind of insane because you really did not believe that they were robots. It was very overwhelming to see one of these things pop out. And while you were acting, to have these things continuously coming out of the water was phenomenal.
And it adds a whole other element to the set. I mean, usually, it’s a tennis ball coming out and they say, “We’re going put the whales in later.” You’re like that doesn’t really help us when I’m saying goodbye to a tennis ball. Although I have had some great scenes with tennis balls.
Drew Barrymore: And they’ve put them on these sticks, and sometimes, I’ve even had someone put a smiley face on it, which makes you get out there and you’re like–.
—That must be so hard.
Drew Barrymore: Yes, I feel a little bit silly. I’m not a very good pretender. I like to really just get lost in it and believe in all of it. And I know that sounds like an insane person, but then I guess I’m a little insane.
Had either of you been to Alaska before?
Mr. John Krasinski: I had never been. I had always wanted to go. I don’t know. I had woods in Boston or outside Boston or so I called them woods. And then, you get out there and you’re like, oh, that’s wilderness. That’s a different thing out there.
And no, it’s so unbelievably beautiful. The people are incredible. They’re so proud to be up there. It’s not this idea that they’re in a remote state. It’s really, really an amazing place to be.
And I had such a good time. I really, really liked it.
Drew Barrymore: It was very fun.
John Krasinski: And Anchorage is a really, really cool town.
Drew Barrymore: I just like slowing down up there.
John Krasinski: Yes.
Drew Barrymore: There’s just only so much to do on another level.
John Krasinski: Right.
Drew Barrymore: And you get really quiet, and you go to work, and I would do some hot yoga at night, and then I–.
John Krasinski: –[Deadpans] I did not.
I heard there was poker playing.
John Krasinski: Yes.
Drew Barrymore: Then, there would be some poker. And we all lived on the same floor, so it was very dormitory, and it was just–.
John Krasinski: –It did. It felt like camp. It was amazing.
Do you feel more comfortable with that kind of granola girl image, which you had, or now, you’re just very glamorous and you look better than ever?
Drew Barrymore: Thank you. Thank you. I wear–.
John Krasinski: —[Motions to Drew’s engagement ring] That’s why she looks a little different.
You’re just so real.
Drew Barrymore: Thank you. And I like to play dress up, you know? Sometimes, I want to wear all pink and put on a lot of makeup and then, sometimes, it’s sweat pants. I don’t think there’s anything more that I value than my sweatpants. I just like being at home and being cozy.
John, I’ve had so many readers, which are married women generally, ask for your phone number.
John Krasinski: Wow.
Drew Barrymore: Hey.
John Krasinski: Like I said, you can Tweet a revolution, and mine will be adultery. I don’t know if that’s my first Tweet, but —
–Seriously though, I do want to ask you, I know you’re a professional, but do you ever want to do the camera thing from The Office when you’re [staring into the camera]–?
John Krasinski: –Well, it’s really funny because [the director of Big Miracle] Ken [Kwapis] directed the first Office. So, he actually set the tone aesthetically for our entire show.
And I remember one of the first takes, I was talking to him and he was standing right next to the camera, and he goes don’t you dare. And I was like, what? He’s like do not look in that lens. And I was like, how dare you, sir. And then, I did the look, so–yes?
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