Star Sandra Bullock says she and other members of the cast occasionally wondered what would happen to Gracie Hart, the main character of their hit, "Miss Congeniality," once she went back to normal life.
In that 2000 film, Bullock played a plain-Jane FBI agent who gets a complete makeover to go undercover to investigate a terrorist plot at a beauty pageant. It proved to be one of the biggest hits of Bullock's career, taking in $200 million worldwide.
"No one expected the first one to do anything," Bullock tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm, "So everyone left us alone, which was nice in terms of sequels. I had done a sequel, and it wasn't really my thing "
"Speed 2" did not fare well at the box office, but Bullock says, "It was a good learning lesson of what can happen when it's not a solid story. But when it's written well, comedy is a great thing to go to. It's hard to get good comedy writing."
Even though Bullock had said she was not going to do another romantic comedy, her portrayal of the irrepressible agent earned a Golden Globe nomination and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award, so she teamed up again with Marc Lawrence.
"I had the partner I wanted," Bullock says. "Again, Mark Lawrence wrote it."
The team had previously joined forces in the romantic comedies "Forces of Nature" and "Two Weeks Notice," and found themselves imagining on numerous occasions "what Gracie would have gone on to do after her big triumph at the pageant, and how all the media attention would have affected her," Bullock says.
"We've talked about how the close friendships she formed at the pageant might change her life, or at least her perspective. There were so many scenarios. I wanted to finish the story we had begun," Bullock said.
As for her doing more romantic comedies, she says, "I have really nothing else to add. I'm not the expert."
"Oh, really?" Storm asks.
"I'm not single. I'm not married, but I'm not single," Bullock commented and, not wanting to talk more about her personal life, she added, "Romantic comedy keeps you in this box, and when you go to broader comedies, there isn't anything you are not allowed to do, if it's set up properly at the beginning."
Asked why it took her so long to be back on the big screen, Bullock says she was happy working behind the scenes producing "The George Lopez Show." And, she admits, sometimes she likes producing more than acting.
Bullock explains, "You can still be creative and part of the group, but sometimes it's not always me that has to tell the story. I'm not going to be the best story all of the time, and to think you are the only one capable of telling these stories is ludicrous. I like being part of the group. I just don't like getting in hair and makeup and being part of the parade."
As for a quote Storm read about Bullock saying women get sexier as they get older, the 40-year-old star says, "It's all in how you feel. There can be someone that's a super model, but not be sexy at all because there's nothing in them that exudes comfort and intelligence and wisdom. I think with wisdom comes -- there I go -- sex-appeal."
The sequel also stars Regina King as Hart's new partner Sam Fuller; Ernie Hudson as her boss, agent McDonald; Diedrich Bader as her personal stylist Joel; Treat Williams as local FBI supervisor Collins; Enrique Murciano as junior agent Jeff Foreman; and Heather Burns and William Shatner, who play, respectively, best friend Cheryl Frazier and emcee Stan Fields.
About Sandra Bullock:
- Born in Arlington, Va., on July 26, 1964.
- The daughter of a German opera singer mother and an American voice coach father, she began performing on stage as a child extra in her mother's operas.
- After college, Bullock landed some Off-Broadway roles and in 1989 had a part in the TV movies "Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman" and "The Preppie Murder." Also in this year, she was seen as the female lead in a small indie, "Who Shot Patakango?" and her career began to excel.
- In 1990, she was cast as the lead in the short-lived TV sitcom version of "Working Girl." And two years later, she co-starred in the romantic comedy "Love Potion No. 9." She also portrayed the cynical feminist artist in "When the Party's Over."
- In 1993, she was in the sci-fi action film "Demolition Man." She also appeared as an aspiring country and western singer in Peter Bogdanovich's "The Thing Called Love."
- In 1994, Bullock was Annie, the reluctant bus driver opposite Keanu Reeves, in the blockbuster "Speed."
- In 1995, she was offered a part, originally intended for Demi Moore, in the romantic comedy "While You Were Sleeping." The surprise hit co-starred Bill Pullman and Peter Gallagher as the other points of a love triangle. She also played the hapless computer operator stumbling onto a major conspiracy in "The Net."
- In 1996, Bullock rebounded from the pallid caper comedy "Two If By Sea" (opposite Denis Leary) with a dramatic supporting turn as a law student who finds herself attracted to a married Southern lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) she is assisting in Joel Schumacher's feature version of the John Grisham's best-seller "A Time to Kill." Unfortunately, Richard Attenborough's "In Love and War" (1996), based on the real-life romance between author Ernest Hemingway (Chris O'Donnell) and the nurse he fictionalized in "A Farewell to Arms" proved a disappointment, with the actress miscast as the slightly older woman.
- In 1997, she was in the sequel "Speed 2: Cruise Control," which teamed her with Jason Patric on a luxury liner taken over by a madman. Also during this year, Bullock wrote, produced, directed and co-starred (opposite McConaughey, who shared producing duties) in "Making Sandwiches," a 40-minute short screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
- In 1998, she worked as executive producer of "Hope Floats," for which she received favorable reviews and generated a respectable box office. Later that year, the actress lent her vocal talents to the character of Miriam in the DreamWorks animated biblical tale "The Prince of Egypt," and co-starred with Nicole Kidman as sisters who use witchcraft to solve their romantic problems in "Practical Magic," of which she was an executive producer.
- In 1999, Bullock teamed with Ben Affleck in the romantic road movie "Forces of Nature," and in 2000, she worked in "Gun Shy," "28 Days" and "Miss Congeniality."
- In 2002, she starred as a homicide detective in "Murder by Numbers," and as a southern playwright in the film adaptation of "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." She next went back to her romantic comedy roots, starring with Hugh Grant in "Two Weeks Notice."
- In April 2005, she will be seen in the independent film "Crash," directed by Paul Haggis.