Queen of the romantic comedy in Hollywood, Sandra Bullock has been getting tired of doing that genre — because the only comedy available for women is the romantic comedy. Then she asked her old friends George Clooney and Grand Heslov, who are both producers on the film, what if the role was switched to a woman and she starred. Now, here we are! What was it like working with old friends again? And what is her point of view on the Hispanic community as a Caucasian woman who produced a Hispanic family comedy show?
Q: What made you start looking at roles that were written for men and why?
I want to be a man? My quest started before this film when I was looking at comedies. I was like, “Why is the only comedy available for women romantic comedies?” I was so done. I yearned for comedies, so I started, “Can I look at every script Jim Carrey didn’t want to do to see if that can be switched?” It started a while ago and nothing really popped up that I felt was extraordinary. Then The Heat showed up, which I felt, out of the need for women to have a comedy that wasn’t centered around getting a man.
Q: What have you learned looking at these roles?
I’ve learned absolutely nothing [laughs]. I’ve learned that you can’t worry about getting a no. I think, as actors, we’re used to getting “No” in this business, but you have to keep going forward or you’ll never work again. So, I learned that sometimes just ask. It can’t hurt to ask. I’m glad I asked and they could have said, “No,” but they didn’t.
Q: How was it working with George Clooney again? Was it better this time?
Nope [laughs]. Same shit. It’s nice to be able to work together. You grow up, you think, you share life experiences, you’re mellowing out, you share your new sense of self, you learned something hopefully. It’s nice that we work in a place where you’re allowed to keep coming back and have new experiences. I don’t think any of us take that for granted. But to be able to sit with Grant and George and argue about what we’re passionate about, and we might all come from different places, but we all ended up with the same end result which was best for the movie. We’re good at arguing our points of view and never feeling like it got personal, so that’s what I really appreciate about the opportunity to do it.
Q: You were the first Caucasian woman to produce a TV sitcom about a Hispanic family in America with George Lopez, so what is your personal opinion about the Hispanic community in the United States?
I never separate the Hispanic community from America. My friends, my family are from Hispanic communities. I’ve never looked at that as a separate thing to address. If it’s a good person, come in to my house. If you’re not a good person, stay out of my house.
Our Brand Is Crisis opens in theaters on October 30th.