Drew Barrymore Reveals She Almost Died Filming Netflix Show ‘Santa Clarita Diet’

Drew Barrymore is starring as a flesh eating zombie in the new Netflix-original series Santa Clarita Diet. 

But the actress has now revealed that the gruesome role almost killed her in real life.

The 41-year-old star was promoting the new series in New York City when she revealed in an interview that she’d suffered a severe injury while filming the show.

Netflix/Santa Clarita Diet

In the new comedy-horror series, Drew takes on the role of Sheila – a Californian estate agent-come-zombie who stays alive by eating other humans.

Besides it already being quite a challenging role to take on, Drew had a very scary moment on set that left her fearing for her life.

When filming for one particular episode – in which Sheila jumps on a guy’s back to try and kill him – Drew fell backwards and smashed her skull on the hard ground beneath her.

The show’s creator Victor Fresco spoke to US Weekly about what happened,

[He] was a wide guy and Drew didn’t get a great grip. Then he held onto her legs and she slipped off, and so just pivoted down all the way and just hit her head. I thought “That’s it. We’ve killed Drew Barrymore”‘.

An ambulance was called to the set in California and paramedics rushed the Donnie Darko actress to a nearby hospital.


Barrymore was left with severe concussion following the nasty fall, which could have had a very different outcome. She spent two days undergoing MRI and CAT scans to check all was okay.

Talking about the touch-and-go incident, Drew said,

It was f*king terrifying. It was very serious. I’ve never had a feeling like that in my life.

Filming was put on hold while Drew recovered from the accident, but she had to return to set a week later and film the terrifying scene again.

Coming back, it was scary. Everyone was really tense.

AP Images

Luckily, her next attempt was successful and her fellow cast and crew members supported her the whole way through.

I love that this group of people, who aren’t family necessarily, are coming together and care about my well-being. It was a nice moment when you see the good in people.

Barrymore first rose to fame as a child, appearing in iconic movies E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Irreconcilable Differences. 

Santa Clarita Diet is now available to stream on Netflix.