In "Big Miracle," a fictionalized retelling of the 1988 effort to rescue three gray whales trapped by ice near the Arctic Circle, Drew Barrymore plays a Greenpeace activist. Her character, Rachel, an animal-loving volunteer, is racing to save a family of gray whales from rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. It is her first big-screen acting project in two years.

An Alaskan adventure makes me think of, snowmobiles, bears and glaciers. But Drew Barrymore says her three-month experience shooting "Big Miracle" was more like "Into the Zen, than into the Wild."

Here's what Drew had to say about her time spent in Anchorage, where she didn't use the Internet or  e-mail, but she did write a few letters:

"I'm a Cali-girl through and through, but it was just nice to not be in the busy rush of Los Angeles. There's a book called Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, and there's something about that title that totally rang true about this experience."

This warm, family film opens in theaters today.