Sandra Bullock stepped up to play her ‘Blind Side’ character

[19 November 2009]

By Rick Bentley

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — Despite her lofty Hollywood status, Sandra Bullock’s ready to take a break from acting.

She’s had a very busy year with “The Proposal,” “All About Steve” and, now, “The Blind Side” hitting theaters.

“I am so happy how I wake up now that I don’t want to rush off and do something else. I am very happy being Sandy in Sandy’s world. I want to enjoy her world for awhile,” Bullock says during an interview at the Four Seasons Hotel to discuss “The Blind Side.”

Bullock’s especially happy that break comes on the heels of such a positive project.

“The Blind Side,” based on the book “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” is the story of a wealthy Memphis family — particularly the feisty matriarch Leigh Anne Tuohy — who takes a homeless teen into their home and how it changes all of their lives.

“The Blind Side,” says Bullock, will entertain and has the potential to make a difference.

“I hope someone will walk away from this film and think that they have had a very good life and are now willing to share it with someone,” Bullock says.

Bullock got to know the opinionated, headstrong and no-nonsense Leigh Anne Tuohy while getting ready to play her in the movie. She knew from their first meeting that Tuohy had a very distinct personality.

“She is not impressed by titles. She’s only impressed by people’s actions,” says Bullock. “That’s why I do enjoy being around her. If you don’t step up to the plate she has no time for you.”

Playing such a character — especially one with a heavy Southern accent — can be a challenge for an actor. Play the role too soft, and all of the determination and strong will are gone. Play the character too hard, and it comes across as a bad Foghorn Leghorn impersonation.

Bullock initially didn’t feel she could do justice to the story, especially bringing Leigh Anne Tuohy to life on the screen. That feeling stayed with her through the first days of filming. She says she didn’t feel comfortable with the role until the second week. It was the family element that finally resonated with Bullock.

“I love kids more than anything, and I could’ve been a mother at 17. But I was smart enough to know how selfish I was. I knew I was not going to bring a child into this world until I knew my world could be all about the child,” Bullock says. “Then life blessed me with this family that was unexpected. That’s when I realized I was ready and I didn’t even know I was ready.”

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