Gettin' Made: Whip It Good
Girls in fishnets on roller skates, going by Garbage Pail Kid worthy aliases like Tara Armov and Gori Spelling and beating each other up -- that's the first impression most people have of roller derby.
|Photo by Gayle Boxx|
|Members from LA Derby Dolls teams Tough Cookies and Varsity Brawlers tear around their banked track at Monday's exhibition bout. The teams will meet again in a regular league bout Saturday, October 3.|
Go see Drew Barrymore's directorial debut Whip It this weekend, and you'll start to realize the sport is a little deeper than the bruises.
After the jump--we Whip It good.
A while back, Drew Barrymore was invited by a friend to go check out a L.A. Derby Dolls bout. She fell in love with roller derby and started going to more and more games. Inspired by the splashy colors and characters involved, and the variety of enthusiastic fans cheering in the stands, she knew she wanted to make a movie about it.
From yuppies to old people to alterna-emo boys in the stands, Barrymore says, "No one is not accepted in this arena." She succeds in conveying this message in her big-screen adaptation of the book Derby Girl (by L.A. Derby Dolls skater Shauna Cross). Whip It is a movie about a reluctant teenage beauty pagaent contestant who discovers herself when she straps on her skates. It's a joyous movie about finding the group of people outside your family that sometimes become your family, and that you can be accepted for who you are, bruises and all.
Whip It is Drew Barrymore's love letter to roller derby.
Ms. Barrymore was as authentic as possible when filming this movie, sending the actors to a roller derby camp to learn how to play the sport. "I almost didn't believe I'd be able to learn," Ellen Page says about the experience.
|Ellen Page plays Bliss Cavender who discovers roller derby and skates as Babe Ruthless in the movie Whip It, in theaters this weekend.|
Juliette Lewis is frank about being an inexperienced skater: "A lot of us just wanna do it justice... I can't do it perfect, but I can look the part." Get fast and get low became her mantra as she worked towards her role as Iron Maven, Ellen Page's skating rival. Real roller girls were also cast in major and minor roles; Krissy Krash and the real Iron Maiven from the Derby Dolls' Tough Cookies play the deaf Manson sisters in Whip It, and other derby girls from all over the U.S. can be spotted throughout.
On the next page--okay, the movie looks cool, but what is this sport all about?