On December 6, 2005 Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen were scheduled to attend a q&a and screening of 50 First Dates at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood. The theater used to hold these often, calling them Hollywood’s Master Storytellers. We had already been to 2 of these events before (Kevin Williamson for Scream and McG for Charlie’s Angels) so we knew pretty much what to expect (lots of excitement!). We purchased tickets right away for ourselves and our close Drewbie friend Joalena.
The week heading up to the event, we started gathering some Christmas gifts for Drew, Nancy, and Chris Miller. We put together a special frame of photos for Drew: her profile next to her grandfather’s. For Nancy, Chris, and the rest of Flower Films, we got some cute note cards and pads. You can view a picture of all the gifts below. We messaged with Chris and he knew that we were attending and bringing some presents. Coincidentally, Joalena had run into Drew and Chris a few days before. They were in a hurry and only spoke with her briefly. Chris told us to make sure Joalena knew they had felt bad for not being more social.
Finally the day arrived! Ashley drove out from Las Vegas to Anne’s and we met up with Joalena at the Arclight. There were actually 2 q&a sessions/screenings scheduled. We had tickets to the second one. We sat on a bench in the hallway outside the theater in which the first showing of 50 First Dates was in progress. Then we waited … and waited … and waited some more.
Then a large group of people came around the corner. We immediately recognized Drew’s white zip-up Adidas hoodie! She was surrounded by security, as well as Nancy and Chris. When they got over to where we were sitting, Chris saw us and said, “Hey!” He gave us all hugs and then called Nancy over to introduce us as “the huge fans”. She was very sweet as usual.
While this was going on, the staff and press were preparing Drew for a little photoshoot. However, Chris got her attention and she stepped away from that.
And then there she was! Drew Barrymore right there saying, “Hi you guys!” and giving us all huge hugs as we re-introduced ourselves. Again, she apologized to Joalena for being brief a few days earlier. She said, “I told Chris he had to email you guys to say sorry! If you only knew the fury of the woman who was waiting for us, literally on a street corner!”
The staff and press got her to pay attention to them, but she made sure to say over and over to us, “I’ll be right back!” Then she and Nancy took many photos with the HMS staff as we waited patiently nearby. As soon as they were finished, she came right back to us.
We told her that we had brought some gifts and she of course responded with many “Thank you!”s. Then we pulled the picture frame out. Her face went from happy and excited to shocked, touched, and on the verge of tears. She said, “Oh my God! Do you even understand …” We said, “We know!”
She told us, “My grandfather and our profiles … it’s my favorite thing in the world! You know me so well! Thank you!”
At that moment, one of the camera men asked, “Drew, do you want a picture with your friends?” Ashley asked him if he could take one with her camera as well. He took 2 of all of us with his own camera and then Drew said, “Make sure you take one with their camera please!” He struggled with it a bit and Drew was trying to coach him, saying, “I think you have to hold the button down for a bit!” The first picture he snapped, she was in mid-sentence. She said, “Wait, let’s do one more! My face was like this” and made her mouth into the shape of an “O”. We all laughed and took one more photo.
Then the staff told her they needed to start the q&a. The audience had been inside waiting all this time! We said we would hold onto the gifts for them. Drew kept saying, “We’ll be back!” and we of course responded, “It’s ok! We’ll be here!” Then their whole crew went into the theater as we tried not to spaz out! People around we asking us how we knew her and if we were friends with her. It was utterly surreal.
After a couple minutes, Chris came out saying “This could take like 35 minutes! Why don’t you guys just come in and watch.” So he brought us into the theater as we profusely thanked him. We sat in the back row of the packed theater and watched the entire first q&a. It was hilarious and amazing and just such a blast to witness. On the way out, everyone was given a commemorative glass.
Back in the hallway, there was a huge line assembled for the second showing. However, seats were assigned, so we decided to stay off to the side instead of getting in line. We saw another Drewbie pal of ours named Venus and we all chatted until the line began to go in. We decided to stay in the hall since they obviously could not start the second q&a without Drew and Nancy.
After a little while, they all came back and walked right over to us. We gave Chris his presents and showed him the butterfly cards for everyone else at Flower. He loved it all and told us that there was barely anyone working there right now, so they’d have to give some of the cards to Flossy and Templeton! Drew came over and he showed her everything and she got all excited. Chris asked her if she had seen the frame and Drew said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t even handle it right now!”
Nancy had been talking to someone else, so we asked Drew if she could make sure Nancy got her presents. But instead Drew and Chris called “Nanny!” and she freaked out over the gifts too. Drew and Chris were saying, “She loves Ns!” and Nancy said she had them everywhere.
They were all summoned to go inside again, so Drew gave each of us another hug. They all kept thanking us and were reluctant to go inside. Drew and Nancy kept saying things like, “You guys are coming in right?” and “We’ll see you in a few minutes! Be sure to wave at us!”
We had seats in the front row and we got to enjoy another entire question and answer session. They talked a lot about future projects and it was just so clear that they are the best of friends.
At the end, Drew told everyone in the theater how much she had enjoyed it and thanked everyone profusely for coming out and sharing their Tuesday night with her. Then she said, “And I just want to say a special thank you to these ladies in the front row – they are the coolest women in the world!”
It was an unbelievable night!
Video of the Q&A. Drew’s thank you to us is at 14:22!