Santa Clarita Diet, the name of Drew Barrymore's upcoming horror-comedy show, is a reference to a realtor turned zombie-housewife's new human flesh nutrition plan. But as it turns out, taking on the character and filming the Netflix show actually made Barrymore herself undergo a physical (and nutritional) transformation as well.
During an appearance on the Today show with co-star Timothy Olyphant on Friday, Barrymore explained how portraying the unusual character of Sheila—who wakes up one morning as a raw-meat-craving zombie—brought about a 20-pound weight loss.
"It came sort of in the middle of a moment in my life where I had sort of let myself go due to personal circumstances," explained Barrymore, who also served as a producer for the show. "And I thought ‘I could come alive with Sheila.'"
"Her undead-ness is actually this incredible awakening for her and a liberation," the actress said. "It's attitudinal, it's empowerment, it's confidence, its all of these things that [Sheila] lost in her life, that I feel like I had sort of lost in my life. It was such a blessing to come alive with her and it really was so positive for me."
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Although the show sounds a bit morbid, both Barrymore and Olyphant promise that there's more to it than blood and guts. "It's funny and it's optimistic, and it has a wink and sense of humor that’s just delightful," Barrymore said.
"Every week we were asking ourselves, ‘How much blood can we put on Drew Barrymore and still find her adorable?’" joked Olyphant, who portrays Sheila's husband, Joel. "And the answer is, you could put as much as you want and you're [still] like look at her. I love her!" Everyone loves Drew Barrymore, even when she's soaked in (fake) blood!
Watch her full interview above and catch Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix starting Friday, Feb 3.