If you’re a sucker for tug at the heart strings, uplifting, charming feel good movies, you won’t go wrong by checking out The Blind Side, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have to admit Sandra Bullock deserved her Best Actress nod for this, she was brilliant. Before watching the film I was pretty sceptical, I’ve always liked Sandra Bullock but for my personal taste she’s been in way to many romantic comedies – the bane of my movie viewing life!
What’s it like to play characters that are based on real people who are not necessarily famous? Do you try to capture their spirit? And what do you look for?
Sandra Bullock: That’s a tough one because I do think that I tried to get as close as possible. I mean, you don’t meet an energy like Leigh Anne’s ever. She might not be famous here but she’s known in other places. And I think I felt a great sense of fear in trying to tackle the person she is, but also a great sense of obligation to be true to this wonderful dynamic. And John could not explain Leigh Anne to save his life. When I met Leigh Anne, I said, “Now I know why you can’t, because she’s original.” [Laughs] But there’s such a dynamic that exists between those people and their children that you want to pay homage to them. I wanted to as closely as I could. So, I did my best.
How do you actually go about choosing your roles?
Sandra Bullock: My way of choosing roles is vastly different now than it was a long time ago. But I can only be that way now because of what I learned from the past. So, I’m choosing now not to choose just any work because when you’ve had such a nice, unexpected and fulfilling ride, you really don’t want to take a step backwards. So, it has really made me satisfied in a way that I wasn’t look for but was blessed with it. And now I feel really full, in a good way, where I don’t need to rush out and go find something. I don’t want to.
When did you make that choice?
Sandra Bullock: Well, the fact was that I realized that I’m staring at a stack of scripts and I can’t bear to open them. I don’t want to step into that world right now. I want to enjoy where I am. So, I think it was over time, just having good life experiences, that I was actually cognizant of the work that I was very satisfied with. I just want to enjoy the ride instead of blasting forward and trying to fill a void that doesn’t exist in the work place.
What was it about the character of Leigh Anne on the page that appealed to you, before you actually got to meet her?
Sandra Bullock: Initially, when I was approached with this beautifully written story, you could see it play out. I didn’t know how to play Leigh Anne. I didn’t know how to approach it or what I could bring to it. So, I just kept saying, “No, this is not going to work for me.” Then John said, “Well, why don’t you just come meet Leigh Anne.” So, I met Leigh Anne for the whole day and I left there completely exhausted because of the energy she has, but in love with this human being and who she is at this time on the planet. But I still didn’t know how to play her; I had no idea. I didn’t know how to bring that to life and be truthful and do a good job with it. I don’t know at what point I said yes. I don’t recall.
What was it was about this story that really resonated with you the most?
Sandra Bullock: First of all, it was a beautifully executed book, especially for someone who’s been around football players her whole life and still knew nothing or cared anything about the game. By the end of the game, I was in such awe of what it takes to be an athlete and what the coaches contribute to these children’s lives and how they support and push and inspire.
I had a real sense of jealousy that they got to experience that and I never did as an athlete or as someone who was able to be brought to that point. But, even though I didn’t think I could make this movie, the inspiring part of this movie is, here is this family that does this–didn’t do it because someone was writing an article or a book or making a movie, did it because that’s where the instinct said, “This is what we’re going to do. And we’re going to give love and reach out a hand.” And everyone came and questioned them, of course. We don’t trust anyone who does anything nice. That’s just the sad world we live in.
But they didn’t care. And they kept going. And it makes you feel like you need to step up your game. So, whatever wonderful actress was going to play Leigh Anne Tuohy, it was going to be an inspirational true-life story that proves we’re capable of so much more than we think we are. We don’t really live in a world that supports the good that we could do. They all want us to do something bad. It sells some papers or some, you know, news report.