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Sandra Bullock Took Role Meant for George Clooney After Not Finding Any “Exciting” Female Characters

Sandra Bullock Took Role Meant for George Clooney After Not Finding Any "Exciting" Female Characters

Sandra Bullock is gunning for a second Oscar with the political comedy “Our Brand is Crisis,” in which she plays a Machiavellian genius described as a “female Karl Rove.” 

The mega-popular A-lister likely has access to the best scripts that Hollywood has to offer, but she still wasn’t seeing “anything [she was] excited about,” according to a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. So Bullock went to the one place she knew in filmmaking where she would be offered something worthy of her talents: roles for men. “Are there any male roles out there that [the filmmakers] don’t mind switching to female?” she asked around.  

And that’s the origin story for “Our Brand is Crisis,” which focuses on the use of political dirty tricks developed stateside and imported to a Bolivian election to get a wealthy, out-of-touch candidate in office over a populist indigenous reformer. The historically based movie is based on Rachel Boynton’s documentary of the same name.  

George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov had developed a fictional treatment as a star vehicle for the “Tomorrowland” star, but Bullock convinced Clooney to gender-flip the lead role. “She’s brilliant at the devious side of politics,” Bullock said of her character “Calamity” Jane Bodine, adding about the rest of the film’s political-strategist characters, “It’s all about the win for them, and probably not for the right reasons.”

It’s great that Bullock is using her celebrity clout to challenge the industry’s preconceived notions about what a female protagonist on screen can or should look like, especially in an environment where intrepid, interesting women like Bullock’s character in “Gravity” or Emily Blunt’s character in “Sicario” are being pressured by producers and investors to be turned into men.

“Our Brand is Crisis” will have its world premiere at TIFF and open on October 30.



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