Breaking the mold
(The Freeman) - October 8, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Sandra Bullock may be one of the most famous faces in Hollywood, but she claims that face wasn’t what found her success as an actress.

The 51-year-old covers the November issue of Glamour magazine and opens up about the effect of her authenticity in her career, admitting she was never asked to play “the girl” in films but rather became bound to a different role she could actually relate to.

“They didn’t want me to be the girl. ‘Cause I wasn’t classically beautiful,” she explains. “I loved comedy. I was the best friend. I wasn’t a leading lady.”

However, she appreciated that fact. She loved that she could play roles catered to her true self. “It allowed me to express myself in a more authentic way,” she continues. “Because I didn’t fit a certain type, it gave me the career I wanted.”

In fact, Bullock broke the mold yet again with her latest role in “Our Brand Is Crisis,” in which she takes on a character who was originally written to be played by a man. Bullock was the one who asked to make the role female.

“I did as my mother did: I put my blinders on and blazed forward,” she recalls of the moment she asked to switch the character’s gender. “Sometimes you get a no. But I expect the no. I don’t expect the yes. With this I got very nervous. I didn’t know if George [Clooney] had made this for himself. But the response was ‘We’re cool with it.’”

She continues, “And then the role…she’s human. She deals with addiction; she deals with mental illness. She’s brilliant at what she does, and she gets lost in the fact that all she cares about is a win. You look at our world…all we see in our world is people saying, ‘In order to have success, you have to win.’”

However, Bullock says “the win” has so little to do with actually finding happiness and finding true meaning in life. In fact, it took a little bit of losing for her to finally get her “s—t together,” as she explains it.

“I did some stupid things in college. Fact that I didn’t wind up in jail: miracle. Miracle!” she reveals. “So I’m grateful for that. But, you know, I don’t feel like I was an adult till about five years ago.”

She says two major life changes caused that: “Motherhood and divorce—and not just divorce but the onslaught,” she says of finding herself over the last five years following her split from Jesse James. “Again, I let it affect me. I heard it all. And I had to step back and go, ‘I have the greatest gift in little Louis, and I’m gonna let him see the woman I want him to know.”

“So a child forces you to get your sh-t together. In the best way,” she adds.

Bullock says she now feels like she knows who she is, and she truly likes that person…but that won’t stop her from remembering where she came from—or from getting rid of her high school cheerleading uniform.

“Embarrassingly, yes,” she admits of saving the outfit to this day. “That might come in handy some sexy night. I don’t know who I’m saving it for. I want to be buried in it.” (FREEMAN

 

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