Known mostly for her role as undercover cop turned beauty pageant queen Gracie Hart in “Miss Congeniality,” Sandra Bullock, 42, isn’t always about the slapstick or romantic comedy role.
In her new film, “Premonition,” Bullock plays a woman who loses her husband in a car accident only to find him alive the next morning.
From a press junket in Los Angeles, Bullock talked to me about her role in the psychological thriller, the difficulty she had following the story during production and whether or not she has ever experienced premonitions in her personal life.
“The Lake House” and now “Premonition;” Do you have certain affinity for these time- travel films?
No. To me they are two completely different scripts that were really good. One is a love story with paralleling times that are different. [Premonition] was a beautifully-written thriller that actually had bigger meaning and incredible depth, but also incredibly complicated. I don’t think [these types of films] are made a lot because they are not easy to make. So, I was just lucky that I was able to do various different films with various different motifs – two of them happen to deal with time.
You don’t think “Premonition” is a love story as well?
Oh, absolutely. It’s a love story but it’s also shattering the American dream. It’s the American dream becomes a nightmare because [the American dream) doesn’t fit everyone. It’s one of those things that I think several people have encountered in life. It’s when it’s too late and you think, ‘Why didn’t I do something to make life better? Why didn’t I do anything?’
Have you found the American Dream?
I don’t know. There are so many wonderful things in America. I take and enjoy what I take and enjoy. I think everyone’s dream should be unique to themselves. I think if you try and squeeze yourself into that idea of get a house, marriage, two kids, success equals monetary success, I think it’ll shatter most people because then you’ve locked yourself into a corner.
Did you have trouble not losing your place in this nonlinear story?
Yes. I had the hardest time I ever had working. You know, films shoot out of sequence anyway, which is nerve-wrecking. Everyday you’re looking at the scene going, ‘We’re shooting the end at the beginning. We’re shooting the middle at the end.’ You always have to go back and see what happens before the scene you’re shooting. Then, on top of that, the days are out of order and you have to get yourself to an emotional state of grief every single day for 12 hours a day for three months in Shreveport, Louisiana with no flight back home in this house – in this cocoon – it was really hard for me. That’s probably why I didn’t work for a year after it. But I’m thankful for it now.
Have you ever had your own experience with premonitions?
No, I think there’s different words you can attach – premonition, intuition, gut-instinct. People are psychic. People are intuitive. People have feelings. People have dreams that have come true. I’ve had things say to me, ‘Don’t do this’ and when I didn’t listen to it, I regretted it. And when I did listen to it, I was thanking whoever it was. I haven’t had a very specific feeling that has come true, but I’ve had things happen that I can’t explain that have helped me avoid something tragic. I think everyone has. Some call it woman’s intuition. Twins have it. How do you explain that?
Talk about where you see your status in Hollywood today?
I couldn’t give a shit about status. My status has been knocked of the pedestal so many times. You can’t control it. I couldn’t control whether or not people liked me in the beginning. I’ll never be able to control whether they like me at the end. At some point, if you’re lucky, you’ll have that great epiphany and say, ‘Hmm…why don’t I just do what I love…and just do what your gut tells you is the right thing to do and with the people that make you better in the projects that you want.