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Sandra Bullock on ‘The Heat’ and comedy double acts - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Actor Sandra Bullock attends the UK gala screening of "The Heat" at the Curzon Mayfair in London, June 13, 2013. (Reuters/Olivia Harris)

Actor Sandra Bullock attends the UK gala screening of “The Heat” at the Curzon Mayfair in London on June 13, 2013. (Reuters/Olivia Harris)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Following a two-year hiatus, Sandra Bullock is set to return to our screens in 2013 in two separate movie outings. In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the actress and producer talks about her return to Hollywood, after taking some time away from the film industry to dedicate herself to her son.

In spite of her absence and other commitments, the Academy Award-winning actress—who has earned 41 other major awards and 43 nominations—is far from retirement.

Bullock is currently promoting The Heat, a police-detective comedy that she is co-starring in alongside Melissa McCarthy, which was released in the United States on June 28. This film will continue to appear in cinemas across the globe until December 13. At that point, her second film of the year, Gravity will also be premiering.

Originally scheduled for release on November 21, 2012, Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The two veteran Hollywood actors play astronauts attempting to return to Earth following an accident that leaves them drifting alone in orbit.

She is also involved in the pre-production stage of an animated comedy, Minions, set to come out in December 2014.

Bullock expressed surprise at her resurging career, and the fact that she now finds herself in such demand despite her age.

“I am over 40 and I’m shocked that I’m offered more than I’ve ever been offered before and I’m not going to question it. It’s 
a nice thing,” she said.

Bullock has nothing but praise when it comes to The Heat director Paul Feig: “I think he did a really good job in making it pretty diverse, that being able to translate (internationally) might go a little further than we’d ever thought it could. But that’s Paul’s. If it did do that, if it did translate, that’s because of Paul.”

The high-octane role, in which Bullock’s character carries out various raids, arrests and interrogations, is perhaps not as far from her real life as a mother as might be expected.

“My neighbor works in the ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] as an instructor, and often when I come home, I find things in my garden left over from her training—empty cartridges and explosives,” Bullock said.

Prior to accepting her role in The Heat, the single mother had forgone her acting career to spend more time with her son, Louis Bardo Bullock, who was born in January 2010 and adopted by Bullock later the same month.

Commenting on her break from the industry and lack of recent movies, Bullock said: “I have taken the producing hat off for a couple of years because producing a child is a little more important to me right now”

Nonetheless, during that time, she had set her sights on the comedy double act—an area in which she feels that women are underrepresented.

“Two years ago, a producer friend asked me what I wanted to do. I told her that I didn’t want to do anything—I didn’t want to work at that point. She replied: ‘But if you had to do one particular project, what would it be?’ I told her ‘a comedy starring two women.’ She said that there aren’t any. The idea that came to me was to look at the scenarios that are being written for films starring male actors and find aspects that can be converted to fit two females roles.”

While such a film inevitably requires sharing the limelight with a co-star, Bullock stated that the only one-upmanship to take place is with herself. “I love competition, but with myself. . . . I love to do everything within my power to ensure I succeed at what I’m doing.”