2 Weeks Notice : An Interview with Sandra Bullock
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Interviewed by Wilson Morales
2 Weeks Notice : An Interview with Sandra Bullock
In an interview with blackfilm.com, Actress Sandra Bullock talks her latest film 2 WEEKS NOTICE, in which she also served as one of the producers.
WM: How did you get along with Hugh?
SB: Well, we get along great. We got together a few years ago and talked about working together and just couldn't find the right thing. I knew that we got along great, but a lot of people get along great in real life and then, nothing transpires on the film [Laughs] and you're dealing with two very manic, egotistical, moronic people such as Hugh and myself and it just worked. We complimented each other and you just get lucky.
WM: Do you consider yourself as egotistical and neurotic?
SB: Well, egotistical and neurotic yeah, I mean, my ego is at stake when I'm not doing the best job that I can. If something doesn't work in a scene, I assume that it's my fault.
WM: Where does your neurosis come from?
SB: My neurosis isn't so much day to day neurosis as it is a level of feelings of inadequacy when it comes to not having everything that I have. Like, if I go through the day and I haven't done a hundred percent of what I'm capable of and like, I took some time to do something else, your mind is just goes, and you should admit the failure because my neurosis is that. It's just that. I don't know how to answer that question. Halfway through this film, it's so wonderful to play a character like this that by the end of the film, I realized you know, I've known Marc Lawrence for such a long time that I have to admit and it's embarrassing and it's not something that I'm very proud of, but it is very much the way that I am. I mean, I'm not as much a social advocate than outwardly she is. I do it quietly. I do it without having to cause things. Like, I wouldn't put myself in front of wrecking balls, but I would certainly go to extremes, but that was for comedic effect, but I think that it's really close to who I am. I would have to say that Hugh because he's learned. Hugh and I have learned that our banter and how we speak to each other does not translate into print because we're very sarcastic, and people will literally take, 'You shit, be quiet,' and they'll say, 'She called him a shit and told him to be quiet.' It's like, 'That's not what happened, but okay.' I would say that with Hugh, there are many aspects of this film that are very much him, but the one thing that is not him is that he couldn't be farther from someone who is a ner-do-well in his profession. The unfortunate thing with Hugh is that he's brilliant at what he does and he makes it look so easy that he hasn't gotten the credit for how great he is, and that's the problem with comedy. The people who are great at it like he is will never get recognized because he makes it look so easy, and I thought that I was knit picky and neurotic about staying on something until you've drained it of every last possibility, but he's astounding. Every time that he would say to us, 'I just want to go over this line or this scene,' you knew it was a four hour conversation. So, that he is not. He is charming and good with the ladies and he's fun to hang out with and play with and drinking with, but he's truly caring and loveable. He's very caring for people, but you'll not know that he's doing it until after the fact. Do you know what I mean, like, he took care of me, he took care of Marc. I mean, he's a wonderful nurturer, but I don't think that that's something that he wants the press to know.
WM: What are the loner aspects of this character?
SB: Well I mean, the thing is that I know I have a tendency to over isolate myself. I mean, that's partly because of the nature of this business and what I've discovered it is, what doesn't appeal to me and what I don't do well with, but I've been overly private and so, that sort of alienates me from people. I mean, I have steady people in my life, but I'm a little if I don't make a conscious effort to get out and socialize, I have a tendency to sort of isolate myself which I'm very happy with, but it's like, I'm happy with it for the moment and then, I look back a year later and I go, 'I just missed a whole year sort of sitting in my cocoon. I mean, absolutely. You know, there are a couple of people that I based her sort of passion on and how she's able to live in this hole that is just her life, her very isolated life, and those people are very happy where they are. You know, they don't feel like her loneliness isn't something that's an edginess to her, it's just a state of life. I mean, she has a goal in life, she has a passion and it just eliminates all these other options for her in terms of a social life. She has people in her life, she just needs more people.
WM: What is Hugh like privately?
SB: Well you know, [Laughs] he's British, a really great dresser, has all of his shoes tailor made and has unbelievable taste. He would have extraordinary taste whether he had money to buy it or not. He doesn't take himself all too seriously. I mean, he takes so many things seriously, and it's astounding what he takes seriously, but he just has this uncanny ability to sort of materalize into a cloud. He's so smart. He's too smart to be an actor. He says what he thinks and that's what gets him into trouble a lot. I mean, I feel like we need someone like him because he speaks his mind so intelligently, he's so well read that I feel he needs to curb himself because if you really heard what he thinks, he's going to offend whoever he's talking to because they want it to be sort of sugar coated and I think that anyone who appreciates and gets Hugh will appreciate the fact that he comes from a very strong viewpoint. Sometimes, he says things that later he has to apologize for, but thank God for people like him because it's not boring.
WM: Are actors stupid in that he's too smart to be an actor?
SB: There are some levels of the business, I think, that sometimes make you feel like you have to dumb things down, but I canít, I mean, maybe I'm only intelligent to a certain level, but there are certain aspects of myself and intelligence that are used better on a production level, and I think that the nice thing about acting is that you can just sort of throw the head out a lot of times, and just emote and feel and react to whatever is going on. No, I don't think that actors are stupid at all. I think that there's an expectation for them to dumb things down, and I mean, because actors have never been really regarded as something acceptable. I mean, you go back to when they were traveling, they were garbage, they were trash and there's still sort of a Bohemian feel to them. You know what though, I'm very happy to be part of the trash because my parents were artists, they weren't actors, but they were in the theater and they were opera singers and it's the same thing. It's a level of entertainment that they provided and we're entertainers.
WM: Does she think of herself as an old-fashioned entertainer?
SB: Yes and no. I try not to be, but I think that you canít, I mean, the great thing about this movie and the hard thing is that we didn't have a hook. We didn't have a good selling hook. What is this movie about? You don't want me to tell you what this movie is about, that would destroy it. It's about love, the inability to understand it, know it, life and the ability to function in it. The nice thing that Marc said. He said, 'I wrote a two person play,' and how do you publicize a two person play? You really can't. You just have to rely on the chemistry and the writing which was, you know, what was relied on by all the great writers and filmmakers who made all those great romantic comedies back then, but they were two handed, equally weighted with great writing and that's all because of Marc Lawrence. Marc Lawrence knew how to write for us.
WM: How did the writer know how to write for you?
SB: You know what, I've had the best with him. He truly made me, I've never had it this good. I don't ever want to do another romantic comedy. I want to keep doing comedy. I want to do a romantic comedy when I'm like fifty, and it's about a woman who's like four hundred pounds and she's been left by her husband and she has to go out and find life, but, you know, some great little English, great Irish romantic comedy. I think, you know, my romantic comedies have sort of happened in my life when I was sort of questioning certain aspects of love and romance and sort but I feel like I sort of have it figured out and I've got it figured out because you can't figure it out. You just can't figure it out. I would work with Hugh twenty four seven. I feel kind of sad that, right now, I don't want to work for a long time. I've got no desire to work and I think that's because this experience has been so fulfilling on levels that I've never had before that I don't want to go on to something else and treat it poorly because a good relationship has happened.
WM: How do you deal with stress?
SB: I do a lot of drugs [Laughs], excessively, I do any drug I can get my hands on, any drug I do it. No, I don't know. It's just that I don't find working stressful. I don't find working stressful. Sometimes, I find relaxing stressful. I don't really have a high level of stress. You know, I kind of have figured out what a good balance is for me. I just hang and go out and travel and go to dinner and go to bars and go dancing, read, find another home to restore. I don't really do much trying stuff. I just try and do whatever I want. Stress free is not having to adhere to a schedule and being in hair and makeup for a certain time and being accountable.
WM: How important is control to you?
SB: Oh, vastly important and the other thing that I should say about that is that I have absolutely no control. I've known Marc for such a long time in terms of industry years, it's like dog years, and you know what he's capable of, he knows what I want to do and we were crossing our fingers that Hugh would do it, and because we'd worked with once before, we wanted Peter Larkin to be our scene designer and I mean, he knew the key elements that we wanted to surround him with because he deserved the best and he deserved people that he felt comfortable with and the fact that he wanted to shoot in New York, we were able to surround everyone that he knew, and put those people around him, and that's the only control. The only control that you have is in who you can hire. You can say, 'These are the people that I want to hire,' and you hire the best people for the job and let them do their job.
WM: Do you have a great deal of control over your career?
SB: I have the control to say, 'I'm going to do this script.' You have no control over how it's going to turn out. You like to think that you do, and I like to put in my two cents worth, but you have no control over the timing, the climate, do people want to see a film like this, we were in preproduction for this when 9/11 happened, and I said, 'This is the perfect time for something like this. I don't want to be doing anything sad. I don't want to be doing anything that really brings your spirits down.' So, it's all timing.
WM: Do you want to concentrate on your personal life?
SB: I have no idea. I have no idea. I said, 'At the end of principal photography on this film, it's been a good year,' and there is other stuff that I want to do. There is a real life that I have that's really exciting and I just want to kind of concentrate on that. There are other more meaningful things in life that I think that I can contribute at this time that I can't when I'm working twenty four hours a day, and I just have nothing to offer. I have nothing to give. I have no talent, none whatsoever, nothing, and that's a great feeling. It's a great feeling when you read a script and you go, 'I can't do that, I can't do that.' It's actually liberating because I know that at some point when I'm rested and I've done other things, and I've lived some life, I know that there's going to be a script where I go, 'That's amazing, I have to do that.' The thing that I learned from 'Ya-Ya' is that no matter how much I didn't want to do that film, when I did it, I got so much satisfaction out of it. I hadn't like really acted in a long time. I mean, comedy is acting, but it's a whole different timing level, but just having a scene play out and listening, I hadn't done that in a long time. So, to do some great supporting roles, and there's a whole other part of myself that I'd like to show.
WM: Was it hard shooting in New York?
SB: It was unbelievable, because all of a sudden, we had to wait for certain areas to open up so that we could get permits. But the Mayor's office was so amazing because we were allowed to get locations that normally you wouldn't be allowed to shoot in because New York just went, 'We want people to feel like it's okay to come back,' and what better than a movie which glamorizes everything. You know, I've always wanted to glamorize New York City because it already is, but it was a guilty pleasure. It's more expensive, but it's where I got my start, this is where I got my career going, this is where I moved after school. This is where I got my first job. This is where I first got mugged, and I thought, 'It'll be a real guilty pleasure for me to go back and go, 'I'm shooting in the city where it all started".' The city was absolutely amazing. We got clearance to do things that normally you wouldnít. I mean, we shot around, you know, the Chrysler building. I don't know if you saw that. We were scared because the helicopter shot came a few months after the incident, and to me, I just look at that and you just want to cry. You want to cry because you look at the site. I don't know if you saw the New York documentary. If you haven't seen it, it's seventeen hours of the most unbelievable footage and documentation of architecture, and basically Wall Street is called Wall Street because there was a wall. It's profound, the architecture and how New York was built, and if you look at the bridges if nothing else, I would want that to be a stepping stone for people to go, 'Wow, I didn't know that New York was about this or Coney Island,' and things like that.
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