Sandra Bullock: “I like to see women rising”

The Lost City
Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum star in ‘The Lost City.’
Paramount Pictures

By María Estévez, MWN 

Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum promise a healthy dose of romance and adventure in ‘The Lost City’. The new film’s story follows writer Loretta Sage (Bullock), who has spent her entire career writing about exotic places and romantic quests, and Alan Caprison (Tatum), an attractive model with the task of impersonating the hero, Dash McMahon, on the cover of her book.

He will become her savior when she is kidnapped by an eccentric millionaire during one of the promotional tours for her novels.

Bullock recently sat down with Metro. 

How did you end up owning the rights for this movie?

I read the story a few years ago, Liza (her production partner) and I knew that we could do something funny with the script. We were absolutely convinced that there are no writers out there that can bring it to the level we had in our head. Being allowed to do this is very rare, we always have to fight for things. But for a while, we were left alone to see if we could bring this movie to where we wanted to and get it greenlit.

Was it fun to work with Channing Tatum?

He has no shame, and I don’t either. We are actors with no shame. We know that sex sells. My character is a woman who sells romance novels but has some secret history surrounding it. To me, funny isn’t funny — you have the balance of pain and loss to show. So this is funny because something was so tragic.

This is a buddy movie with a woman and a man leading the audience, but they are friends…

You have two human beings that are on a ride and who come out the other end having grown and been validated as human beings rather than it being about boy saves girl, girl falls in love. I’m not a damsel in distress. I would love to be that, but I honestly can’t. So what I loved about this was that the roles were reversed. And nobody but Channing could have stepped into that role and accepted it with such honesty and genuine love.

So what did the creative team behind the film decide was the best route forward for Loretta Sage?

We put her in the jungle with a cover model. That cover model is Alan (Tatum), who graces the front of Sage’s novels as the romantic hero, Dash. Imagine the pairing of somebody who’s stuck in their head and somebody who’s just completely stuck as far away from their head as they can be. It’s a recipe for success. We all love to see people fighting, people who shouldn’t belong together

The journey to produce ‘The Lost City’ was longer than expected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. How did you handle it?

It didn’t stop us or our passion for the project. We got even more motivated and we made sure that the movie got made. We were the only film at Paramount that didn’t shut down that year because we ran a tight ship. Channing and I were testing every day. People were crapping themselves, and it was just horrible. Yet everyone got up every day really happy because we were working, we got to interact with each other, and we were on a little adventure that we just really hoped and prayed worked out.

Do you expect people to come back to the theaters to watch ‘The Lost City’?

I love the cinema experience, the popcorn, and the soda, and also I truly hope that the audience comes back to the movie theaters and enjoys the film as it is created for a big screen. I am not to be embarrassed that I want you to feel good. There’s no shame in that. I’m not cynical anymore. We all just need a nice warm hug, we all need to laugh our a**es off, and we need to just have some fun.

What is essential for you to act in the movie?

It needs to be entertaining. It keeps you hooked on the edge of your seat. I’m always in search of a project where you have viewability, and accessibility, where it draws an audience to an experience. I like that aspect of it and the puzzle pieces that have to come together to explain it.

The on-screen conversations of the protagonists are very natural. Was it in the script or did you improvise?

We improvised a lot. We tried to follow the script most of the time, but one day you skip the script, the camera keeps rolling, and suddenly what you did is on film.

Sandra, you haven’t been to Los Angeles for a long time. Do you miss Hollywood?

Not really. You know, I’ve been working for a long time and now I’m lucky enough to choose what I want to do. This project was something I was very interested in, that’s why I’m back.

What message does this film have for women?

We need women capable of playing all possible characters, complicated women, that’s what we have to show on screen, especially to young audiences. I want to see women in the movies taking care of each other, being generous with each other. Recognize talent and, when necessary, step back to let others shine. I am convinced of the current fight, but it must be for the greater good. I like to see women rising.

What was the turning point that led you to look for roles written for men, transform them and interpret them?

I want to be a man. My search started before this movie when I was reading comedies. One day I told my agent that I wanted to read all the scripts that were sent to Jim Carrey. That’s how I started, then, little by little, they came to me until those of George Clooney.

What did you learn looking for these papers?

I have learned absolutely nothing. I’m lying, I learned that you shouldn’t worry about getting a negative answer. We, actors, are used to rejection and it is important to fight to transform a negative response into a positive one. It’s about having tenacity and confidence. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

‘The Lost City’ is now showing in theaters.

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