Many of you have been eager for news about Drew Barrymore and Whip It at TIFF. Drew and the cast attended the press conference yesterday and her reception here in Toronto has been rock star-like, surprising to many of us who had no idea, even though Drew is most definitely an A+ name, that she inspired that kind of … frenzy.

They were practically on their knees for her at the Ryerson on Sunday night for the world premiere. And, publicly, she was what you’d expect – her sugary childish E.T. smile, sometimes sheepish, at other times flirtatious, often feigning wide eyed innocence…

Drew knows how they love her. She knows how they see her. So when she needs to, she plays those cards over and over and over again.

Behind the scenes however, Drew in real life is not the giggly, flower petal throwing, obsequious Casey/Lucy/Sophie/Billie/Josie kooky independent character you recognise on film.

Drew’s entourage was one of the biggest among any celebrity at TIFF this year. 10 people minimum, a machine, not unlike the Clooney/Damon/Pitt vehicles that wield power and influence. Drew herself is all business – brisk, efficient, unapologetic, decisive, and not afraid to be bitchy. She has been producing movies for years, she’s now directing, this shouldn’t be surprising.

But it would be hard for the public, especially those who find it difficult to distinguish between acting and reality, to accept that Drew isn’t actually the way she’s sold. The true Drew is far from cute. The true Drew is formidable. Which is better.

She’s also, as almost all of them are, a very little person. Tiny. Shirt and skinny. SO thin right now. Justin Long flew in and joined her the first couple of days. They held hands at the screening, she ended up at Sweaty Betty’s late night afterwards, but for the most part, Drew kept her partying very private this trip, staying focused and keeping her indulgences quiet.

As for Whip It

The reviews have been mixed but not horrible. A solid B. Several of my colleagues have seen it, said it was OK. Fun in parts but uneven, formulaic, and therefore destined to be a crowd pleaser.

At least these girls get physical though. They smash up on each other with such impressive force and physicality – these are not women who need to be carried around after fainting.

Photos from and