Drew Barrymore stars in the new Netflix comedy series Santa Clarita Diet

By Abby Stern
February 02, 2017 11:57 AM
"Santa Clarita Diet" Premiere
Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

Drew Barrymore has been through it all in the public eye: from child star to rom-com queen, successful producer to mom. And now — with her new Netflix series — zombie.

While most actresses might not be able to relate to the struggles of Barrymore’s newest protagonist Sheila Hammond on the comedy series Santa Clarita Diet, the 41-year-old actress not only empathized with the character but found playing her therapeutic.

“It was really fun to be her,” Barrymore told PEOPLE at the show’s premiere at ArcLight Hollywood on Wednesday. “I’m so into the awesomeness of Sheila’s wrongness, or living in her id or saying whatever she thinks or feels.”

She added, “It’s liberating.”

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While Barrymore’s character is experiencing some changes, Barrymore, 41, is going through her own transition since her 2016 split from husband Will Kopelman, who is father to her daughters Olive, 4, and Frankie, 2.

“She’s going through like a real feminist empowerment moment, albeit, it’s inappropriate,” Barrymore mused of her onscreen character. “But it was really fun to be her, and she totally gave me a wakeup call in my own life.”

Santa Clarita Diet will be available for streaming on Netflix beginning Friday.