When Sandra Bullock won the best actress Oscar for The Blind Side three years ago, her position as the number-one female movie star on the planet was secure. But after all the box office and awards success, Bullock was very careful about what projects she chose to do next. Eschewing the easy route of another romantic comedy after her supporting role in 2011’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Bullock took on the role of Dr. Ryan Stone, a novice astronaut stranded in space and struggling to survive in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. At its core, the film is not your average sci-fi blockbuster, but rather an intimate look at summoning the will to go on.
AwardsLine: They created something called the light box for this, a really isolating contraption. What was it like in there?
Sandra Bullock: It was literally a 9- by 9-foot box that was elevated on a platform. On one side, there were black curtains where all the technical geniuses were sitting, and there was a long track in the center. You know the (robot) arms that make the cars in Detroit? They were these massive things with the camera on them. There was a metal harness that I had to get up through that clamped around my waist. It was timed mechanically with the camera, so it would turn my body, and the camera was then spinning, and I had to figure out, “Am I upside down? Or am I right side up?”