"Gravity” is one of the most talked-about movies of the past year and it's up for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. One review in the Los Angeles Times said, "Words can do little to convey the visual astonishment this space opera creates."
Star Sandra Bullock and director Alfonso Cuaron both earned Oscar nominations for the film about two astronauts stranded in space. The two joined the “CBS This Morning” co-hosts to discuss how the film came to be.
Cuaron said when he was casting he was looking for an “immediate accessibility in a character that is very shut off,” and was struck by Bullock.
“When I met with Sandra, what struck me was her fearlessness,” he said. “And I think that's what combined the whole thing.”
However, Sandra had to be convinced to take the role. She told the co-hosts that at the time, she didn’t want to work and the “conundrum” for her was she had wanted to work with Cuaron for a long time.
“I wanted to stay home and be with this beautiful, new little person in my life … and I had thought that I had absolutely nothing to offer, nothing at all to offer,” she said. “Then here he comes, the person I'd longed to work (with)… So, it was a very difficult sort of crossroads that I found myself at.”
Bullock said that it “absolutely” helped her decision that the lead character in “Gravity” was a woman.
“I was shocked that it was written for a woman and the way that it was written, for the woman,” said Bullock. “Usually, it gets very soft and … girly. I love a girly moment, but it didn't have a place in this, nor did they put it in there.”
Cuaron said that she was adamant that the character not have a “hint of damsel in distress.”
While they used many new techniques to make the film, Cuaron does not think that’s what made the movie great.
“For the specific things that we wanted to do there was not like an existing technology. So, we had to develop the technology,” he said. “At the end … I think that technology and how we put it together is interesting, but I think, with all this technology, what really makes this film is Sandra's performance”.
Also, Bullock discussed what it was like to work alongside George Clooney. She said that it while it was the first time she had worked with Clooney, it was “very, very easy”
“People love to talk about what a prankster he is, and how good-humored he is, but he is such a workhorse,” she said. “When he arrives on set, he brings his producer hat, his actor hat, his writer hat, and he is there 24-7 in any capacity that you might need him.”
The two actors have been friends a long time, before they were both famous.
“Before he even did ‘ER,’ he was just George who keeps doing bad pilots. He was making a living. We weren't making a living, so we were in awe of what he was accomplishing,” she said.
The two also discussed the toughest obstacle to overcome when filming the movie. Cuaron said it was “gravity” and while it’s ironic, Bullock said “he’s not joking.” Referring to the famed ballet dancer Martha Graham, Bullock said that with filming the movie “everything is about contraction, contraction, contraction.”
“You had to do that consistently while perched on the bicycle seat, which is one apparatus where I literally had to balance my whole body. I had one leg strapped down so the rest of my body could be free. Or you had the light box … or you had the 12-wire rig,” she said. “I can show you one shot, and I can say for this one, it was bicycle seat, 12-wire, bicycle seat, light box, bicycle seat. But that was all in (Cuaron's) head, it was in his head that whole time. And he was able to gather these technicians and create machinery and apparatuses that never existed before.”
To see the full interview with Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron, watch the video in the player above