Sandra Bullock on geeks, gravity and George’s voice

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has been getting a very positive buzz. And rightly so—there’s the stunning vista of space (further enhanced if you’re at an IMAX theater), a simple but intense story to hook audiences in—and small but mighty cast of two: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. This one more than lives up to the trailer that teases or terrorizes with the prospect of being untethered and set adrift in space.

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At a press conference in San Diego last July, Sandra Bullock aka 50 percent of the Gravity cast revealed a lot about how she got into character as medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone who goes on her first space mission with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky.

The characters are immersed in the expanse, blackness, silence and solitude of outer space—further away from home than most of us can ever even imagine.

Sandra recounts that she and George only “had a few days of working together physically.” Sandra basically had to work in a “black felt cube” and wore headphones—“that’s how I heard him [George Clooney] most of the time.”

The box she worked in helped her grasp what it would be like to be isolated and in blackness, relying on music and sound to connect her to humanity.

She describes her character, Dr. Stone as someone who is broken, fragile and struggling with a spate of tragedy in her life. She’s “emotionally dead when she gets there [to her mission].”

It would take Sandra about 20 to 25 minutes to get out the contraption in the cube and while it was hard not to take the heaviness of the character home, “I had my light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the day, I would get out, go home and see my son. Ryan Stone didn’t have that.”

Sandra did the press conference for Gravity on a Saturday at the four-day San Diego Comic Con. This was her first time to attend the annual event, which has drawn about 120,000 to 130,000 attendees in recent years.

She described the crowd as “the nicest group of people I have ever met.” She continues “they are sweet, real and funny and everyone has a love for film . . . they put me in the best mood.” She also goes on to say her sister met her husband at Comic Con and that the pair tagged along with her and they were currently walking around the floor while she did interviews.

Alfonso Cuaron is known for his 2001 film Y Tu Mama Tambien and directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He likened working with Sandra Bullock to being in a dance with her, engaging in an exchange until finally the performance unfolds on screen.

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Gravity opened October 3 in Metro Manila cinemas and IMAX theaters.

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