Sandra Bullock on Her Tough Gal Role in Our Brand Is Crisis: “We Can Play Beautiful Birdies for Only So Long”
Sandra Bullock has known to be a tough cookie in movies. Just take Speed, Gravity, and her Oscar-winning turn in The Blind Side. If you like seeing her express that ballbuster side of her, then you’ll love her next flick, Our Brand Is Crisis, out in theaters Friday, Oct. 30.
The film follows two political fixers—Bullock as ‘Calamity’ Jane Bodine and Billy Bob Thornton as her nemesis Pat Candy—who go to Bolivia to support opposing candidates and attempt to bolster their campaigns to win the country’s presidential election. (Fun fact: Bullock’s role was originally supposed to be played by a man.) This is actually based on real events featured in a Rachel Boynton documentary, which focused on how American consultants were called upon to help candidates in the 2002 Bolivian presidential election.
Bullock stars as a manipulative political consultant working for an unlikable Bolivian presidential candidate in the George Clooney-produced drama. “She is incredibly brilliant at what she does, and she's able to do it without her conscience stepping in up to a certain point," Bullock said of her character. “I think she really reflects human beings—we're complicated, we have baggage, we have a past."
Jens Langkjaer for LGA Management
We caught up with the cast recently at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Bullock told us she took on the role because she could relate to her character’s no-nonsense authenticity. "I found her really truthful,” Bullock said during an interview for Entertainment Weekly, People, and InStyle. "We can play a lot of bucolic and beautifully rounded characters that are like beautiful birdies floating around for only so long. Then I think you really have to own what humanity is. My character really reflects human beings. We are complicated, we have baggage, we have a past. She definitely does. She struggles with addiction, she has some struggle with mental illness. She is complicated, but she is also incredibly brilliant at what she does.”
The movie comes out at an interesting time in the current cultural conversation, with America’s presidential election heating up. Bullock believes that while politics is key for the movie, it’s really about something else at play. “This film is really about big business,” she said. “[Elections are] just about marketing. It is advertising when you really get down to it. That is what’s heartbreaking when you realize, 'Wow I have been advertised to rather than let me decide who the best candidate is. I have been manipulated to vote or buy something.'”
So does Bullock see herself being a political adviser anytime soon? “Unless they want me to sink this country, this great country of ours, no.” See the trailer below.