"We got lucky," Drew Barrymore tells PEOPLE at the premiere of her and Toni Colette's new movie Miss You Already

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated October 26, 2015 12:50 PM
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Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

Portraying lifelong friends in Miss You Already came easily for actresses Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette – they fell fast, and hard.

“We got lucky; we had an electric connection,” Barrymore told PEOPLE Sunday of her costar at the Cinema Society’s New York premiere of the film. “I would sooner be able to fake a romantic relationship on-screen, I could never fake friendship. Because you don’t have the same kind of doe eyes and things you can pull.”

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The duo’s new friendship was obvious as they hit the red carpet – both actresses were laughing and embracing as they posed together.

“It’s just an immediate knowledge of each other,” Collette, 42, said, adding, “You just get each other or you don’t, and we lucked out. We get each other and we love each other.”

“We got lucky,” Barrymore – who graces the cover of PEOPLE’s latest issue – added.

In the movie, Collette and Barrymore play two best pals whose relationship is put to the test when one starts a family and the other is diagnosed with cancer.

The film’s director, Catherine Hardwicke, told PEOPLE it was quickly obvious she didn’t have to worry about her leading ladies’ chemistry.

“I didn’t get these two in the same room until a week before shooting, and I was sitting there like, ‘Please let them like each other,’ fingers crossed,” she said. “And the cool thing was, in the first few minutes, they started to like each other, they started finishing each other’s sentences, started to throw jokes and play off each other and they turned almost into a comedy routine. It was really cool.”

Hardwicke, 60, revealed the costars have traveled together and turned into “awesome friends.”

When it comes to forming lasting platonic bonds, both Collette and Barrymore have simple qualifications.

“Humor, honesty,” Barrymore, 40, told reporters, qualities that her new best friend backs up. “Ditto,” Collette said.

Barrymore, whose new book Wildflower, a collection of autobiographical essays, is due out Tuesday, told reporters that having complex and steadfast female friendships is crucial to her life.

“I think lifelong friendship is celebratory and honest and tumultuous and connected and disconnected,” Barrymore said. “It just goes through everything you go through in life.”

Reported by MAGGIE PARKER

For more of our exclusive interview with Barrymore – in which she reveals her own memories of childhood and the happiness she’s found as a wife and mother – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now