Drew Barrymore has confirmed a long-standing rumour that her grandfather’s corpse was taken from the morgue by friends for one last night of partying.
In an interview with the YouTube channel Hot Ones, the Santa Clarita Diet star said three friends of the actor John Barrymore stole his body after his death in 1942 and propped it against a poker table.
The younger Barrymore confirmed that Hollywood legend Errol Flynn, comedian WC Fields and the poet and anarchist Sadakichi Hartmann were behind the stunt.
“I hope my friends do the same for me,” said the 45-year-old actress.
“That is the kind of spirit I can get behind. Just prop the old bag up and have a last few rounds.
“I think death comes with so much morose sadness, and I understand that, but if it’s okay, just with me, if everyone can be really happy and celebratory and have a party, that would be my preference.”
Barrymore also revealed that a scene in Julie Andrews comedy S.O.B. was inspired by her grandfather’s final party and said she has heard he may also have inspired the 1989 black comedy film Weekend at Bernie’s.
In the same interview, Barrymore said she lobbied to play a small role in 1990s slasher Scream and for her character to be killed off in the opening scene.
She said: “In the horror film genre, my biggest pet peeve was that I always knew the main character was always going to be slugging through at the end, but was going to creak by and make it.
“What I wanted to do is to take that comfort zone away. I asked if I could be Casey Becker so that we would establish that rule does not apply in this film.”
Barrymore got her wish and was killed by Ghostface in the opening scene, with Neve Campbell playing the lead role of Sidney Prescott.
The actor is currently promoting her own talk show, which launches across the USA in September and focuses on positivity.
She interviewed her seven-year-old self in an innovative recent promo for The Drew Barrymore Show, using clips from a 1982 interview with Johnny Carson.