“They were way too pretty”: Sandra Bullock Didn’t Mind Being Considered Ugly for $182M Film That Helped Her Steal Role from Nicole Kidman

Sandra Bullock is no stranger to losing out roles, as is every other renowned actor in the film industry; you don’t get where they are without enduring the sting of failure and missed opportunities. But when Bullock read the script of a Jon Turteltaub romantic comedy while filming what would later become her breakthrough movie with Keanu Reeves, she knew she couldn’t let that project slip away. Even if it meant being perceived as less attractive than Hollywood A-listers like Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore.

Sandra BullockSandra Bullock

While You Were Sleeping – How Sandra Bullock Bagged the Role

Helmed by National Treasure director Jon Turteltaub, While You Were Sleeping is a blissful romantic comedy that has come to become one of the most beloved feel-good films of all time. With the classic ‘she fell for her crush’s brother’ trope, it stars Sandra Bullock, Peter Gallagher, and Bill Pullman. But, as it turns out, The Lost City star only became the leading woman because the other candidates that the director had in mind ended up being a little “too pretty” for his taste.

Talking to The Washington Post on the film’s 25th anniversary, Turteltaub, 59, revealed that he met with both Demi Moore (Indecent Proposal) and Nicole Kidman (Aquaman) prior to casting Bullock, 58.

While You Were SleepingWhile You Were Sleeping (1995)
“I had a meeting with Demi Moore, and we came very close to Nicole Kidman. But in the back of my mind, I was thinking that they were way too pretty. It’s hard to de-beautify Nicole Kidman.”
They weren’t the only ones though, Turteltaub had also briefly considered the likes of Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) and Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally), essentially Hollywood hotshots who’d already become one with the limelight at the time. Their stardom, however, is also what discouraged the filmmaker from choosing them because he “just couldn’t see any of those superstars being a person working in a toll booth.” Well, he wasn’t wrong either.


The Filmmakers Were Highly Impressed by the Speed Star

According to Fredric Lebow, who worked on the film’s screenplay along with Daniel G. Sullivan, Bullock had reached out to them after reading the script of the rom-com on the set of Jan de Bont’s 1994 thriller, Speed. In the same interview, the Miss Congeniality star admitted that the plot of While You Were Sleeping had her in such a chokehold that it made her want to be a part of the film more than anything.
“I was an auditioning actor. This was the one thing that came along that I wanted so badly, not as a desperate actor, but just because the story was so sweet.”
The next thing you know, the filmmakers were absolutely in love with Bullock’s audition. In fact, they were so incredibly awestruck by her that Cathy Sandrich, the casting co-director, even ended up shedding a tear or two during the Oscar winner’s monologue. “Sandy’s was one of the most remarkable [auditions] I’ve ever seen,” Sandrich said.

While You Were SleepingBill Pullman and Sandra Bullock

“Sandy has that overwhelming charm that makes her so irresistible,” Turteltaub gushed. “As soon as she left the room, [producer] Joe Roth stood up and said, ‘That’s our girl.’” And Bullock was overwhelmingly grateful to Moore, who’d been their first choice for the part before her, because thanks to the G.I. Jane star, she got to lead one of the most cherished romantic comedies ever!

While You Were Sleeping can be streamed on Disney+ with a subscription or can be rented/purchased on Amazon Instant Video.

Source: The Washington Post

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