“We’re used to waking up early, because it’s a school day,” Sandra Bullock told TheWrap less than an hour after learning that she’d been nominated for Best Actress for her role as the intrepid astronaut in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.”
As her son tried to get her attention, Bullock laughed and said that awards were the last thing on her mind when she was strapped into Cuaron’s “lightbox,” a special effects rig that allowed the film to create an outer-space environment while dramatically restricting her movement.
“Awards? Oh, God, no,” she said. “But when you’re strapped in and you can’t move, you’ve got nobody to act with and you’re trying to figure out how you can act with nothing to help you, it reminds you why you love what you do.
“You feel like a kid, discovering things for the first time. As an adult you don’t usually have experiences like that, where you’re doing something new that you’ve never done before.”
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Still, Bullock admitted that she often wondered if she’d be up to the task. “I was constantly agitated and frustrated and worried that I wasn’t going to reach a place he wanted me to reach,” she said. “I missed working with actors, except when George [Clooney] was on the set, and I missed having props and sets.
“But the whole experience was so new and unexpected in so many ways. It revitalized me in a way I didn’t know I wanted to be revitalized. And now I want everything I do to be like that, even if it’s just a silly comedy.”
But can she really expect future roles to be quite that new, different and challenging?
“No, I chalk it up to once in a lifetime,” she admitted. “I know that it’ll never ever happen again. But it made me realize that you can dig a lot deeper and connect with a character in ways you never thought possible. And hopefully I’ll take those new tools and use them everwhere.”