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Drew Barrymore: I dropped three dress sizes on my drastic zombie diet

(Image credit: Saeed Adyani / Netflix)

Hollywood star Drew Barrymore reveals she dropped three dress sizes for her latest Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet

Hollywood star Drew Barrymore suffers for her art. She is playing a suburban mum-turned-zombie opposite Timothy Olyphant for new Netflix comedy Santa Clarita Diet (opens in new tab) and tells TV & Satellite Week she dropped three dress sizes during the shoot.

"If you were a zombie and you only ate flesh, ie protein, then your body would change," she reasoned.

"I wanted to transform the way I looked from the first episode to the last, so I lost weight during the course of filming. I was 144lb (10st 4lb) when I started and 123lb (8st 12lb) by the end, and I went from a size 14 to an 8. Plus I would make other changes like lightening my hair and plucking a row of eyebrows."

It's no wonder Drew didn't have much of an appetite after spending months nibbling on prosthetic body parts and raw meat.

‘They made me feel sick, especially the fake mince. You’d think eating guts or a fake food would be the worst, but actually it was whatever grain they used for the minced beef – it had a weird consistency and was definitely the most disgusting thing I have ever eaten. I also had to eat dehydrated apples to represent flesh, or sometimes tuna or wet cake.’

Drew admitted there were upsides to the job though, crediting the experience with helping her get through her recent divorce.

"I was in a difficult place in my life when we started the show, but I felt better about myself by the end, and generally happier. I had a great summer and we filmed in California, which meant I could spend time with my daughters and drive against traffic – that made me happy!"

You can watch series one of Santa Clarita Diet now (opens in new tab)


David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!