Drew Barrymore Talks Getting Directorial Advice From Spielberg

Director Steven Spielberg with actress/director Drew Barrymore at the premiere of Fox Searchlight's 'Whip It' on September 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, Calif. Director Steven Spielberg with actress/director Drew Barrymore at the premiere of Fox Searchlight's 'Whip It' on September 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Drew Barrymore will make her directorial debut this weekend with “Whip It,” but the first-time helmer didn’t have to go it entirely alone – she had the advice of godfather Steven Spielberg.

“He’s a great mentor,” Drew told Access Hollywood at the “Whip It” premiere in LA on Thursday. “He always talks about how important that is, mentoring, and he keeps his word. He really does.”

At the junket for the film earlier this week, Drew said she’d been learning from Steven, also in attendance at the premiere, since her first days in Hollywood.

“[He] told me when I was doing ‘ET,’ ‘Never act your characters, be your characters,’” Drew said. “So I’ve always been very performance-oriented since then in trying to really believe in what you’re doing and instead of acting, just being that person.”

To create that environment on the set for her latest film, she used an unorthodox method.

“It made me very sensitive when people yelled ‘Action’ or ‘Cut’ because it seemed to me like a flare gun of like, ‘OK, now here’s this world going on. OK, now the world has stopped, drop it,’” Drew said. “So I never yelled action or cut and I just found that it sort of glided people into these scenes and it glided them out of it and the performances became a lot more natural because of it.”

Though the actress has spent more time in front of the cameras then behind them, Drew said it has been a lifelong dream to direct.

“My whole life I’ve wanted to be a director and I finally found the thing that I could put everything of my own experience,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe I came across this sort of blueprint of a world where I thought, ‘God, I can put my entire heart into this.’”

But will she do it again?

“I would love to direct again,” Drew said. “I just can’t believe… that my whole life would be leading to a one off-thing. But it has to be something that I can love everyday for three years like I did with ‘Whip It’ — it’s gotta be something that gets you out of bed every day for three years.”

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