The last time Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves were on-screen together, they were trapped in a bomb-rigged bus in Speed. Twelve years later, they've reunited in the mystical fantasy romance The Lake House with their chemistry fully intact. This remake of the Korean film Il Mare casts the stars as people who discover via letters that they're living in the same lakeside retreat two years apart.
Wearing pinstriped shorts, a sheer blouse and snakeskin heels, her hair lighter than it appears on-screen, Sandra discussed her leading men — costar Keanu Reeves and husband Jesse James, the motorcycle mogul she married last July. For Sandy's take on movies, tattoos, hogs, love, marriage and more, read on...
How was it working with Keanu for the first time since Speed, 12 years ago?
We'd seen each other since then. It wasn't like we hadn't seen each other in 12 years.
Did you fall back into a natural rhythm?
No, because there wasn't a rhythm on this. There was a lot that had to be figured out, and we were thrown into the process. But we work well together in general — though we disagree and argue and butt heads. The more I work, the more freedom I feel I'm allowed to have to argue in order to make stuff right. He's very much that way too. I get that in him. We have a nice history. There's a great level of comfort.
What qualities in your Lake House character, Kate, do you admire and relate to?
Something that I didn't allow myself before, which I do now, is being comfortable with the silences and the melancholy, or being alone and enjoying that. She goes from a people-pleaser person to someone who can be honest with how she feels and not feel guilt and remorse about it.
Your role in Crash was such a great one for you, and people got to see you in a different light. Was that a strategic move on your part?
The decision was made before Crash. I'd taken a year off that became a year and a half. I was going to try some different things, but it required me to start from scratch. I'd stopped doing romantic comedies a while back. I love comedies and I will continue doing them, but the romantic comedy — I have nothing else to add to that right now. So I told my agents, "The cash cow is no longer the cash cow. I'm going in a different direction." They started looking, and Crash was the first thing that came along. Then Infamous, the Capote film based on George Plimpton's book.
And you have another film, Premonition. It's a beautiful thriller drama, but it falls more on the Hitchcockian fear level than anything. It's really frightening, not in a blood way, but this is what can really happen to one's mind. Is this person unraveling? It's so beautifully done.
Are you pickier now since you've married? I've always been at the helm of what I do. There's never been anything that someone said, "I think you should do..." except for Speed 2, which I wish someone would have done [laughs]. Everything that has come across my path, I feel so lucky to have done. I produced television, did a lot. Now the slate is clean. I've become more selective in what I do, yes, because it would require a lot for me to leave home.
Where is home for you these days? My home is where the people I love are. Austin [Texas] is one of our main homes, and my husband's business is in Long Beach [California].
Has Jesse gotten you on a hog? I ride; I will never drive it. I have a dirt bike.
Has he influenced you to get any tattoos? No, that's his story, his storytelling and his world. I think it's beautiful. I story-tell in my job.
Has being married changed your views on romance and love? I was so happy before I got married, so satisfied and in the best place of my life, and the timing was such that I met someone that complemented me and gave me a nice net to feel more adventurous with in life. "Wow, I got someone who's watching my back," even though I take care of myself. It's just the idea that I have someone that I know supports me. It makes me want to be the best that I can, the best partner, because I've stepped up to the plate.
What about personal goals you've set? I feel like I have too much at this point, so much good. I have so much joy, so much more than I ever thought my life would be, knock on wood. It can be good one day, bad the next day — that's marriage. But I'm so happy.
The characters communicate through letters in The Lake House, which is rather old-fashioned in this age of email. Are you a letter writer?
Yes. I love letters. You have it in your hand — it's something tangible. You have to make the effort of writing it out, getting the address, sending it. And you have something to pull out to remember. You can always pull up an email from a file and print it out, but it's not the same thing as a letter.
Do you think these two characters were destined for each other?
I think they chose to be together. They chose to accept this situation, and allowed themselves to let go and be a part of it, and allowed themselves the joy of what can't be explained by society.
Do you believe in that kind of destiny?
I do believe in choice, the freedom of choice and carving out your own happiness.
Can Jesse watch you do romantic scenes?
No one understands the process better than he does. He's not gonna like it — he doesn't like it — but I wouldn't want it any other way. If he was like, "I don't care," I'd be like, "I'm sorry, what?" It's not an easy thing for any spouse to watch, but he understands and so he supports me.
What's the secret to having a successful relationship in Hollywood?
Don't talk about it. Don't go on a talk show with it. Don't have a relationship "in Hollywood."
How do you deal with the tabloid reports?
One says you're having trouble and the other says you're getting away to try and make a baby. It's just selling [magazines] — it has nothing to do with the truth. But they pretty much leave us alone. We don't live in a place where it's easy to get to us. And we're not that interesting. We're really not.