Whip It good: Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page at Tattoo Rock Parlour
Roller derby chicks whirled around a TTC streetcar outside Tattoo Rock Parlour on Queen West on Sunday, giving the red carpet crowd a terrific tease for the arrival of director Drew Barrymore and homegrown sweetheart Ellen Page to the Whip It after-party. Blaring classic rock tunes and serving up mac and cheese, this was a Hollywood party with a dirty, down-home feel. We stood in line to get a Whip It tattoo branded on our arm and chatted up some of the real-deal derby girls before sneaking into the VIP section to hang with—well, adjacent to—Drew, Ellen, Jason Reitman and Justin Long.
Earlier in the evening, Barrymore was emotional and nervous when introducing the film at Ryerson Theatre to a pack of die-hard fans. “This is a sport where you can be any age, any size, the mother of three, any ethnicity—it doesn’t matter what your economic background is, it’s a welcoming sport.” Oh, Drew. We loved her as the rebel who flashed David Letterman, but now she’s our rock-a-roller derby idol.
Page was the first to show up at Tattoo, appearing fragile and sad while sitting lonesome on the VIP risers. Hard to believe the pretty and petite actor could rough and tumble on the rink, but a derby chick set us straight, “She’s really good and practised for a month before filming. The cast misses the stink of our equipment—our pads smell really bad.”
“It was so great to work with Drew, she has done so much for roller derby!” said another hotrod honey, adorning her uniform with the name Bloody Holly (the derby team from the movie was flown in from Austin, Texas for the premiere and the party).
While doing some bad-ass poses on the dance floor to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” we weren’t surprised to get shoved, for a third time, by Harvey Weinstein. We were surprised, however, that Precious star, Gabourey Sidibe, had to wait a couple of minutes before the dense security would let her up the VIP steps. Reitman tossed his hair while pacing the gated area and looked up to say “hey” when passing us by. Long waited for Drew in a corner booth. Killing time, we ventured downstairs so Manic Panic could glam-rock us up with an obnoxious fluorescent orange hair extension and some glitter eyes.
Barrymore finally arrived and looked both gorgeous and elated, knocking back Bud Light in her Alexander McQueen dress. We spotted her and Long holding hands, so we’re guessing the passionate smooch with Page was a one-off.
With a bit of luck, we found ourselves in the VIP section, watching Barrymore bend over to get her dress zipped up. While spying and noshing on a slider, we observed that the stars appeared to be cooking up an exit strategy. We followed them down the graffiti back alley and met them later at Sweaty Betty’s (not Woody’s, which was one rumoured locale for the after after-party), where Barrymore served beer from behind the bar.
Waking up with neon hair, sparkly eyes, a tattoo and a bottle of 50 on our bedside, we popped an Advil, scrolled through our pictures of Barrymore at Betty’s, and decided last night we partied like a rock star.