The Stand-In director Jamie Babbit tells EW about Barrymore's wild rehearsal exercise for her dual roles in the new comedy.

By Joey Nolfi
October 30, 2020 at 10:27 AM EDT
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As EW's exclusive trailer for the upcoming comedy The Stand-In proves, the only thing better than one Drew Barrymore is two Drew Barrymores. You just have to know where to look.

Later this year, fans will get a double dose of the actress (in dual roles) in the new comedy, but according to director Jamie Babbit, New Yorkers had a prime chance to meet the actress on the streets of Manhattan last year — thanks to the film's legendary makeup team, they just didn't recognize her.

"We spent months working with the fabulous makeup artist Vivian Baker, who created her prosthetic nose.... she had different teeth, a different nose, and she obviously had different hair," Babbit tells EW of Barrymore's transformation into the film's two leading parts: One, Candy, a burned-out actress, and the other, Paula, Candy's fame-hungry set double who takes over the star's life after she's ordered to rehab.

To test the results of the hours Barrymore spent each day in the makeup chair before each shoot, Babbit recalls the film's team venturing through New York City as a preparatory exercise.

"We had a lot of fun having her makeup artist put the fake nose on her and the teeth and going out into Times Square. We actually went to Central Casting, and Drew auditioned in an open call for a random project," Babbit says with a laugh. "She got into the building with my driver’s license, and she went in and interviewed. We wanted to see what the desperate life of a stand-in was like, someone who people don’t give a s--- about and who just wants to fit in with the theater crowd, but really isn’t welcome. I think it’s been years since Drew has been treated like that in the business, so that was a fun acting rehearsal."

She also recounts an instance where a fan asked Barrymore's Stand-In costar Michael Zegen (whom Babbit previously directed in Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) for a photo.

"[She] actually ran up to us and said 'I love Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, will you please take a picture of me with him?' and handed the camera to Drew, and Drew took the picture!" Babbit remembers. "We realized that everyone who was walking by us in New York had no idea it was Drew Barrymore, so we knew [the makeup] was working!"

The Stand-In — written by Peep Show's Sam Bain and co-starring Charlie Barnett, Ellie Kemper, Holland Taylor, T.J, Miller, Andrew Rannells, Michelle Buteau, and Lena Dunham — is on VOD and digital services beginning Dec. 11. Watch EW's exclusive trailer for the film above.

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