The impish, perpetually cheerful Sandra Bullock, all legs and teeth and chuckles, is talking way over the speed limit. The only punctuation is the occasional blush or shrug but that only slows her down a little. Understandably, she has a lot to say. For the moment she is The First Lady of Hollywood.
She steered her career into the fast lane with ‘Speed' and since then the arithmetic of her fame has added up not just in the multi-millions of dollars but in another, much more surprising, way.
Everyone seems to love Sandra Bullock. When that includes rival actresses like Julia Roberts , former lovers' new girlfriends such as Jennifer Aniston of television's ‘Friends', as well as the teams before and behind the cameras we are presented with something unique. And worrying. Can anyone really be this nice ?
That's the usually derogatory word -- as in bland -- casually issued by all all who encounter the trim box office beauty but it is meant in the nicest way. When she fired her manager and her lawyer, who had been with her through the successes of ‘Speed', ‘While You Were Sleeping' and the miserable but financial winner ‘The Net', the Hollywood gotcha gossip antenna went on alert. When she brought in her father John to look after her financial affairs there were disdainful sniggers. A clear case of raging nepotism?
A flaw at last? A chink in the sugar-coating?
Well, not exactly, she said. Sitting restlessly in a Manhattan hotel suite ( she was in New York editing her 40-minute film ‘Making Sandwiches') she decided to publicly address the issue for the first time: ‘ It was: ‘' She's a bad girl, you know.'' They were delighted to finally have something on Sandra Bullock.
‘But I never do anything without a good reason. I've never done anything maliciously. I want my career to be honest. I want it to be no lies. I want to know what I'm doing and if two people have two different agendas I want them to do exactly what they want to do. I was ignorant. I was signing my life away.
‘I had sort of let things get very out of control business wise because of my neglect and not wanting to deal with it. I blame myself tremendously for not knowing and understanding what other people's intentions were.
‘ I just wanted to work, to act: I didn't want to know about the money. I still don't -- but you have to have control.'
There's much to keep charge of. She was paid $10.2 million for Richard Attenborough's ‘In Love and War' which she filmed this summer in Italy, London and Canada and she will become Hollywood's highest paid leading lady --- overtaking Demi Moor who received $12 million and a critical drubbing for ‘Striptease' -- in a lucrative pay and profit arrangement for ‘Speed 2.'