Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds and Anne Fletcher Press Junket
1. You described Sandra as ‘fearless’ in a recent article, can you elaborate on that?
Anne Fletcher: I think she’s fearless because she doesn’t know how beautiful she is. She’s fearless because she’ll do anything for the film, for the joke, for the betterment of the film, and not many people will go to that level.
Sandra Bullock: Like showing your naked body for a laugh?
Anne Fletcher: Yes, by being naked for a laugh yes. Her bodies very funny.
She just goes for it, honestly, when I got this film, and we went to go scout locations, you as the director have the best gift with Sandy, she can and will do anything if it’s in the best interest of the film. So you’re looking at the ladder you’re scouting at low tide and say she could go down that ladder and not even think twice about putting her in five inch pumps and a tight dress and she’d be like ‘that’s great, let’s do it!’
You just have this great vehicle here to do anything you wanna do.
2. You discussed the chemistry of which is vital to a film like this, how did you know that Ryan had that quality, that chemistry to make the comedy between these two actors work so well and so seamlessly?
Anne Fletcher: I made it, I created that, when I first met him I gave him that chemistry with my kit, my lab kit.
Ryan Reynolds: I love that you’re actually eating the microphone.
Anne Fletcher: You don’t know if the actors will have chemistry until you actually start filming, I mean they could get along, friends for years, they could be hilarious as people and then you don’t know if it’s going to work until you start filming. Fortunately, most of our toughest scenes where they were overlapping dialog had to happen at the very beginning. Fortunately, it worked, and it started right from the get go, so you don’t have to worry about those things once it’s all working.
3. Sandra, what was more uncomfortable for you, being in the ‘scuddy’ as we call it in Scotland or being dumped in the very cold ocean?
Sandra Bullock: Actually, in a very bizarre way doing the dance outside with grandma was much harder than being nude with Ryan, not for the obvious reasons – being very, very handsome, so well built, so articulate, so talented Ryan Reynolds or performing for the brilliantly talented and slightly insane Anne Fletcher. But no, the naked thing, you read it as she shot it which is ‘you have to be naked’, and it was funny, I don’t look at my body and go this is a machine, such a beautiful specimen, I can’t show it in that funny light. It’s funny everyday, I look at it everyday and there’s always something funny going on with my body, so I saw that it could be used as a vessel in this film, in a good way, so I thought this was the time for me to do full nudity, and be used in a way that I was comfortable with and humour. Had it been a scene that’s supposed to be sexy and you go ‘it’s just not’, you know a full naked body, especially you men, and I hate to say it on film not that funny or sexy. But you hide a little something between us men and women and it becomes sexy, you dress it more and it becomes sexier. The lack of sexiness in the scene made me happy to do it, I mean yes it’s humiliating, it’s embarrassing, people are going to poke fun at your body.
Anne Fletcher: No one’s going to poke fun at your body.
Ryan Reynolds: I don’t know what was unsexy about it, I was furnished with cellophane underwear. That’s a beautiful sight!
Sandra Bullock: You and I found it beautiful because we looked for the beauty.
Ryan Reynolds: It was a nice see through cellophane speedo.
Sandra Bullock: But you know, at about the third day, the crew had seen it all, and Anne made it so clinical and so specific to the stunt to the humour that you didn’t feel anyone was watching, maybe they weren’t.
4. Working with Betty White, do you think ‘I still wanna be working at that age’ is she an inspiration?
Sandra Bullock: I don’t know if I’d look at her and say I wanna be working at that age, but I definitely want to have had the life, and the joy and the outlook. If I could have half of Betty Whites’ satisfaction, joy and insight and zest for life at half her life, I would be satified, she’s done something with her life that’s pretty extraordinary, I mean having dealt with some sadness and loss, and turned that into such a passion for what she does now, I just think she’s incredible as a human being and storyteller to have dinner with, to hang out with, to work with, to share jokes with.
Ryan Reynolds: I enjoyed her unbreakable moods!
5. You both have personal assistants, how did you treat them before this film and did they offer any feedback?
Ryan Reynolds: I see her more as a moving target, no, I do have someone I work with and she’s amazing and I definitely don’t have unmitigating abusive tendencies towards her, she’s very very sweet.
I also know what that’s like, I’ve heard my agent before he unleashes broken glass and cell phones at his poor assistant, so it’s a tough job under the best of circumstances.
Sandra Bullock: Early in life? it happens every single day! Look we’re at a press conference, imagine a one on one with someone from the media, we need to turn around that anger.
I did work with some ‘not nice’ people but I really haven’t had that sort of abuse, but I have worked with people and I work with people now who abuse that power, in our business or in any business you see an abuse of power, and it’s humiliating to watch someone think that they are allowed to treat people like that. You know you can get done what you wanna get done with a level of kindness.
6. Sandra, has there been any feedback from animal lovers regarding your cruel abuse of innocent dogs?
Sandra Bullock: Yes, there have, no thank goodness, we being an animal lover and the great Betty White being a huge animal lover, more care was taken of Kevin the dogs, all of them that the human cast on this film. That dog was so delicious, it was so sweet, we had people left and right running around with the dog. I had him over my head and he was so trusting he would keep looking back to just look in my eyes.
These dogs were extraordinary the whole scene with the blow dryer, they had two dogs to do it and they keep talking badly about the second one, saying she wasn’t as good, I remember she did the who scene, almost like she heard it and thought ‘I’m gonna show you’ she did everything, from opening the door to barking at the hair dryer, we got her on the mat and span her around.
Ryan Reynolds: Upstaged by a four legged q-tip.
7. Why did you use Massachusetts as a body double for Alaska, when Alaska’s available?
Ryan Reynolds: It’s a natural conclusion to use Massachusetts for Alaska, Boston is just like Juno.
Anne Fletcher: No it simply comes down to that Massachusetts had tax breaks that Alaska didn’t have at the time, and thank god we didn’t push it too hard, because at the time we shot the film it rained for like two months straight in Alaska. So we went to Massachusetts and designed the beautiful world of Alaska in our film and do it with respect and not hollywoodise it and do it really authentically so the people of Stika would be pleased.
8. Something I liked about the film was that there wasn’t a big deal made about the age difference between your two characters, is that something that appealed to you about the film?
Sandra Bullock: Well when I read it it’s obvious, when you see it, it’s obvious.
Anne Fletcher: It’s written as a May, December romance obviously, Sandy is technically by numbers older than Ryan, at the end of the day you can’t sell this as a May – December romance weather it’s technical or not, it’s not ‘The Graduate’ it’s this, and they would in life date.
Sandra Bullock: You know it’s funny how the older – younger thing is still a taboo on film, but it’s not in real life, until a magazine brings up the taboo to create another cover to sell something that isn’t even a taboo anymore. This has been done for thousands of years. I loved that it said, it was obvious, she’s his boss, she’s older, he’s younger, it’s there. Betty White has the great line about it, and it’s a fact, how often in life are you going to meet your mate and that person is your same exact age with the same exact life experiences to match where you are in your life, so you can meet perfectly and give society what it wants, it just doesn’t happen that way, some people evolve by twenty four, some people are evolved by sixteen so why are we stopping these great connections based on age, or race or colour or whatever. You meet who you meet and you connect because of your life experiences, just everyone gets there at different times.
Ryan Reynolds: We’ve been friends for nine years too.
Sandra Bullock: I love the idea of the older – younger because I found it funny that there were still social issues to talk about on film, we haven’t had those in awhile. Also you know immigration or the boss being a woman, these are still fun things to poke fun at on film. We don’t have alot of things we are allowed to poke fun at before other organisations get involved.
Anne Fletcher: I also didn’t believe there was a difference, I wanna put it in the mouth of Betty White, if you poke fun at Sandy Bullock for being older it’s false, look at her.
9. When did you realise you had the chemistry and complicity to work with Anne, and where did you get the inspiration for the cruelty of Ms. Tate?
Sandra Bullock: I remember the moment I met Anne, I was working on a film I was producing and up pulls this lady, the moment she stepped into the trailer and the moment we had a few words I was so thankful that people like her exist because you start to lose faith in humanity when you’ve worked in our business for awhile, when the first words are I know what we can do better and we know what needs work, you know it’s not someone there just trying to convince you to do the film, it’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be so much fun. She was someone there to work, someone to break down what wasn’t working. She and I had the exact same feelings about it, the same feelings Ryan and I had.
You know what I’m a bitch, in real life I am a bitch, I’m an actress I act nice, i come to these press junkets and I play nice because I want you guys to write nice things about me.
Ryan Reynolds: She’s a bottomless well pit of evil, ready to unleash on you at any moment.
Anne Fletcher: I think at the end of the day she’s a great actress and whatever her inspiration is, is her inspiration. I think at the end of the day she’s a really great actress that can do anyone and play anyone.
10. How did you identify with the character of Margaret? She’s successful initially as a business woman but her life beyond that is empty. Has there been a point in your life where you have been very successful professionally but haven’t quite matched it away from the cameras?
Sandra Bullock: For Margaret, I never thought she had an empty life otherwise, I didn’t think she thought so, I think her love, her family, her passion was her work. Everything she did from the suits, to the cereal she ate in the morning to the tv she had, everything was designed around her greatest love which was her job. She didn’t have anything missing, until she tried to blackmail someone, who turned the tables on her, took her to his home town, tried to make her miserable and introduced her to what family was about, that opened up a side to her that she hadn’t dealt with for a very long time. So I don’t think she was missing anything, just like as I was going through my life I was missing nothing. I had everything I wanted, I used to say it’s funny because any time I say I wanted something, I gotten it, then I’ve looked at it and gone ‘god this isn’t what I thought it would be’. Not realising that I was going after things that weren’t filling me up the way I wanted to be filled up. I never felt like I was missing anything, ever, until I stopped to smell the roses outside of this treadmill that I had gotten for myself and I realised there were other things that I liked that I didn’t know, I realised that there were things in my life that I didn’t want anymore, and so I got rid of them, and it just opened the door to other things.
11. Did the risk of deportation trouble you early on in your career?
Ryan Reynolds: I remedied that didn’t I! Yeah and now health care’s really expensive. Oh you can be deported back to Canada for such a minor infraction, little bar fight, and before you know it your back in Sisca Tuan. where I’m not from. It did concern me when I first moved to LA, I went there with about six weeks worth of money to make it there and that was from doing a couple of episodes of The X-Files to finance that trip and it was you can either hit it or go, and thankfully I got a job, that was a few years before Van Wilder, that was the first film I did. I came down to LA to join the Groundlings which was an underground improv comedy group and I didn’t get in, I ended up getting an agent and was sent out on a few leads.
12. Question about Ramone, how difficult was it to do the scene where he was stripping?
Sandra Bullock: Impossible, because the talent of Oscar who is nothing like his character, you could see the look on his face on the strip tease date and I saw the humiliation and the pain and then I saw it go away in the commitment of giving himself to the ladies, which he gave and gave and gave. He’s just brilliant, there’s one take – a spit take where things shot out of every orifice of my body and you see me laughing and he says ‘it’s ok, it’s wash and wear’ that came out of nowhere that man is truly a genius.
13. The Step Up films were a completely different genre, were there any experiences or challenges?
Anne Fletcher: I don’t think so, I don’t think there were any challenges along the way, there were script things along the way that we discovered and the challenge of trying to do this big film in such a short amount of time. I think all the choreographing and challenges lead to this moment.
14. Can you describe your role as the producer and were you surprised by how well the film has done?
Sandra Bullock: The title of producer is so varied in film, the title Executive Producer just means the title, from doing romantic comedies before I knew that likely get messed up, so as a saving agent for myself I asked to be executive producer just so I had the right to comment and meddle, just incase I didn’t like how it was going or what was going on. I never had to do a thing, that’s how much I enjoyed myself. The role of producer is a different can of worms, it takes two to three years out of your life, I’m stressed, I have olsers, I meddle in everything and I’m miserable all the time, I keep saying I’ll never do it again, and then I do it again. I’ve learnt to meddle in the best possible way, so we get the best possible outcome, if that means we work on the weekends we work on the weekends that’s how we work, and the success of the film, I’m always surprised when things that I do….works! I don’t care what it is, I’m always surprised and amazed that something works, and always satisfied if it doesn’t.
15. Is it easier or harder working with someone you’ve known for awhile?
Ryan Reynolds: I found it fantastic, doing a film with your friend is probably the easiest way to end that friendship, but we worked together really well, we have that thing the chemistry. I think it’s the last magical thing in Hollywood that they haven’t computerised. You know there’s nothing they can do about it, it’s either there or it’s not.It doesn’t matter if you’re friends or not it’s just a bonus that we were.
Sandra Bullock: Usually don’t do it, like don’t work with your family in business, I do it. I was excited and then I was worried that we wouldn’t do what everyone was expecting, I worried thoughout the process, it’s my nature. I love the fact that I’ve now had the benefit of working with actors and directors that bring the best out of me.