'I'm going back to comedy': Sandra Bullock says The Unforgivable will be her last drama
In an interview with Q’s Tom Power, the Oscar winner said she will only take comedic roles from now on
Sandra Bullock has received critical acclaim — including an Oscar and a Golden Globe — for her performances in dramas like The Blind Side and Gravity. But after completing her latest film, The Unforgivable, she decided once and for all that her heart belongs to comedy.
"I'm never doing a drama again," Bullock told Q's Tom Power in an interview. "I just want to do my comedy. I'm going back to comedy. And I'm going to fight for it and I'm going to enjoy it."
The Oscar winner expressed frustration that comedies aren't valued as highly as dramas, although she noted that her final drama, The Unforgivable, has an important message as well as a personal significance for her.
The film tells the story of a woman looking to reconnect with her younger sister after serving 20 years in prison for a violent crime. Bullock said she originally thought it was a "love letter" to her daughter, Laila (whom she adopted from the foster care system in 2015), but later found it was a love letter to the women who've been through the U.S. prison system.
WATCH | Official trailer for The Unforgivable:
Still, the actor lamented the fact that funny movies generally receive less praise than those that are more serious in tone. "I guess making someone cry is far more important than making them laugh," she said wryly.
Starting in the '90s, Bullock established her career as a gifted leading actor with roles in feel-good films such as While You Were Sleeping, Hope Floats and Miss Congeniality. To this day, she said there's no greater rush than nailing a joke or improvising with another talented actor on screen — which isn't always as easy as it looks.
"It really requires a village to make comedy work, at least for me," she told Power. "I need a great partner opposite me to play ball with."
Looking back on her career, Bullock said there hasn't been a lot of respect for the genres she's picked, particularly romantic comedies. She added that women in comedy are even less well regarded than male comedians, except for icons like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. At times, the lack of respect for comedy has made her also lose respect for the genre, but now she intends to return to her "roots" and stay there.
"I wasn't really designing a career to win Academy Awards," said Bullock. "If you look at my trajectory, I wasn't looking for projects that really fell into the category of highly respected work.… I just was doing what brought me joy and what I was lucky enough to get."
Pointing to her versatility as an actor, Power concluded the interview by asking Bullock if there was anything she was afraid to do on screen.
"Sing," she responded. "I will never ever sing on camera.… My mother and father were opera singers. I was in the operas as some dirty child always in the background. To sing, to me, is so revealing and, like, I have no ability to sing. I love music — I'm very musical. Singing I will never ever, ever do. That I'm afraid to do."
Written by Vivian Rashotte. Interview produced by Catherine Stockhausen.
Listen to the full conversation with Sandra Bullock near the top of this page