Sandra Bullock’s big break came in 1993, as she played the role of Lenina Huxley in Demolition Man. Then Sandra was on a winning streak, starring in Speed in 1994, The Net and While You Were Sleeping in 1995, A Time to Kill in 1996 and Hope Floats and Practical Magic in 1998. The world was sold on Sandra. As we welcome the reception of Ocean’s 8, Label looks back at seven of Sandra’s most iconic roles.
While You Were Sleeping, 1995
Earning Sandra a 1996 Golden Globe Awards nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, While You Were Sleeping was the peak of the nineties romantic comedy period. Playing fare token collector Lucy Moderatz, Sandra’s character has a crush on regular passenger Peter Callaghan. On Christmas day, Lucy saves Peter from an oncoming train after he was pushed onto the tracks by muggers and Peter falls into a coma. When he wakes up, Lucy has embedded herself into his family as his fiancée.
Miss Congeniality, 2000
Special Agent Gracie Hart is demoted to a desk job after saving a mob boss from choking and consequently causes a fellow FBI agent to get shot. In an effort to redeem herself, Sandra’s character must enter the Miss United States pageant as Miss New Jersey to combat a bomb threat. Unaccustomed to the grooming and deportment of pageant life, Gracie relies on her bold personality and tom boy skills to win the judges over, including an impressive glass harp number and some solid self-defence skills.
Two Weeks Notice, 2002
Sandra plays Lucy Kelson in a romantic comedy she produced, starring alongside Hugh Grant who plays George Wade. A dowdy, anxious and highly intelligent lawyer specialising in heritage preservation and environmental law, she fends off Hugh’s character George’s attempt at redeveloping Coney Island community centre. Playboy George hires Lucy who quickly commands all aspects of his life and finally realises she needs to draw some boundaries. But leaving is not that easy, as feelings and bad habits get in the way.
The Proposal, 2009
Margaret Tate is a publishing executive ruling with an iron fist over her staff, until she discovers she is about to be deported to Canada. Promising her assistant Andrew Paxton (played by Ryan Reynolds) a job as an editor, Sandra’s character persuades him to marry her. But an immigration agent is suspicious of this sudden engagement and Margaret must travel to Alaska to visit Andrew’s family to prove her case. It’s there she finds she loves more than being Andrew’s boss.
THE BLIND SIDE, 2009
The 2009 biographical film was based on a book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. The movie chronicles Michael Oher, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, as he evolves from an impoverished minor to being adopted by Sandra’s character Leigh Anne Tuohy and her husband Sean (Tim McGraw). A truly beautiful story, the role saw Sandra win the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Peformance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
The Heat, 2013
This flick is the height of comedic Sandra, as she plays FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn who partners with Boston Detective Shannon Mullins, played by Melissa McCarthy. The chemistry between the two makes for a hysterical watch as they take down a drug ring and several corrupt agents, while Melissa’s character manages to give Sandra’s a seductive makeover along the way. The box office felt the same way and The Heat grossed $229 million, while Sandra was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Comedy Movie.
Sandra is joined by George Clooney to star as American astronauts marooned in outer space after their shuttle is destroyed mid-orbit. It took more than three years to create the visual effects necessary to fill 80 minutes of the film, which sees George’s character Matt Kowalski give his life for Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra). Assuming she’s the sole survivor in space, Ryan makes risky decisions to ensure her survival and manages to land safely back on earth, with a few bumps and emotional bruises.