MOVIES

Why Drew Barrymore Turned Down Boogie Nights

It’s not surprising to learn that Drew Barrymore passed on “Boogie Nights” in favor of the safer, more family-friendly “Ever After.” Most of “Boogie Nights” focuses on Mark Wahlberg’s character, and the role of Brandy is very much a supporting one. Compared to “Ever After,” which put Barrymore at the forefront, “Boogie Nights” would have given the actress minimal screen time. While “Ever After” isn’t what Barrymore considers her best role, the film was positively received and has a solid 91% Rotten Tomatoes score. 

For Barrymore, working on “Ever After” was a life-changing experience that manifested at the perfect time. “I was in my early 20s, and then I was trying to start a company and wanted to tell stories and make films, and that particular messaging that you can rescue yourself and you don’t have to wait to be rescued is definitely the thing that set me up best in my life,” Barrymore told Entertainment Tonight in 2023. 

While Barrymore has nothing but love for “Ever After,” the same can’t be said for the A-list stars who brought “Boogie Nights” to life. Burt Reynolds said he regretted filming the Oscar-nominated drama, expressing displeasure about working with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Wahlberg surprisingly called “Boogie Nights” his worst film, which was definitely unexpected considering it’s one of the roles he received tons of acclaim for. It seems like Barrymore made the right choice by sticking with “Ever After.” 

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