It’s the ultimate job for a fan of one of the world’s most famous actresses.
Today, we sit down to chat with Chris Basham, the webmaster for The Official Drew Barrymore site, www.DrewBarrymore.com. We find out more about the man who went from running a top notch celebrity fan website to getting the opportunity to run the only official website for the Going the Distance star.
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview, Chris.
You’re quite welcome :)
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I’m 35 years old, married to a beautiful woman named Kristy, and father to a wonderful 9 year-old boy named Aaron. We live in the extremely small town of Forksville, Pennsylvania.
Q: You originally started life with a fan website called The Drew Barrymore Collective. When did that start and how did it come about?
A: Well, to be fair, my life did start a while before the Collective, but it was what I would consider a significant achievement in my life. :) I started that site in 1997 as a gift to a girl I was dating at the time, because she was a big fan of Drew. I didn’t know much about her at first, but grew to love her also after doing “research” for the site by watching all of her movies, reading her interviews, etc. I broke up with the girl, but I enjoyed doing the site so much that I stuck with it.
Q: Now you run the official DrewBarrymore.com website. How did your previous site land you in this role?
A: I think the Collective first became “known” to Drew and her people after an interview conducted during promotion for 50 First Dates. The interviewer had collected questions from fans to ask Drew, and one of the questions was from me. Even though the interviewer wasn’t very good (he mispronounced my name–both the first and the last, and it’s pretty hard to mispronounce “Chris”–as well as the town I was living in at the time), he did manage to tell Drew the name of our website, and she said that she would check it out.
After I saw that, I got the confidence to ask Drew’s business partner Nancy Juvonen for an interview, which she was kind enough to give us. It was that, as well as subsequent contact between us and Flower Films that built up enough trust to where they approached us to develop Drew’s official site once they felt it was the right time to have one.
Q: You’ve had the pleasure of meeting Drew in person. Which of her moviecharacters would you say she is most like?
A: That’s a hard one to answer. I’d say there is a bit of Drew in every character she has played, but it’s hard to name one that is most like the “real” Drew. She’s also very much a method actor so I think you see a lot more of her in her characters than most other actors. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say she’s probably most like her characters in her romantic comedies, like Lucy in 50 First Dates or Julia in The Wedding Singer because she’s funny and playful yet very kind and loving.
Q: What is your favorite Drew movie?
A: Probably Mad Love, but I have favorites from each genre. I’d say my favorite recent movie of hers is Going the Distance, definitely the funniest movie she’s ever done. Donnie Darko is also a big favorite–even though she’s hardly in it, she produced it and was responsible for it seeing the light of day.
Q: Has your work with the official website translated into any opportunities with other celebrity websites?
A: Definitely. I’ve made a number of contacts over the years thanks to my work with Drew and Flower Films. I’m currently working with Haley Bennett (who played Cora Corman in Music & Lyrics with Drew) to relaunch her website, and am also working with friends of Haley who are also in the business to launch their websites. Others who have seen my work have reached out to me to build sites for them as well, so having Drew as a client is definitely a plus.
Q: What advice would you give to those who run other celebrity fan websites who might someday wish for similar opportunities to come their way as you have had?
A: First, be patient. You have to keep in mind that it took about seven years of running the Collective before I could say I had any contact whatsoever with Drew, so it’s not something that happens overnight, if at all. You also have to be respectful of the celebrity. It’s not about what you like and what you want, it’s about what the celebrity wants, and what their fans want. If the celebrity doesn’t like that you’re putting paparazzi pictures of them on your site, take them down. After all, you’re supposed to be one of their biggest fans, so why wouldn’t you want to respect their wishes on the website you have created in their honor?
I’ve seen too many webmasters get upset because the celebrity who they are supposed to love contacted them and asked them to stop doing something, and decided to stop being a fan of the celebrity rather than respect their wishes. It’s also important to be professional. It’s definitely possible to be someone’s biggest fan but still be professional. I think one of the biggest reasons that we got the opportunity to develop Drew’s official website was our professionalism. Showing someone that you have their best interest at heart and can get the job done goes a long way.
You can check out Chris’ hard work at Drew’s official website,
Writer’s note: Yes, the photo caption’s stating of the obvious is an attempt at humor.