In a new interview with the Today show's Matt Lauer, Sandra Bullock opens up about the tumultuous year she's had -- and the joy she's currently experiencing as a new mom and one of Hollywood's most charitable celebrities.
The chat was taped at the Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, for which Bullock helped to raise funds for a new on-campus health clinic.
"I don't know why I was always drawn to this city…I just had been coming here for so long when [Hurricane Katrina] hit," the Oscar winner says. "I thought, 'Gosh, I've taken away so much from this city.'"
Bullock arranged a meeting with those in charge of the school, and, after seeing their passion for the project, she signed on to dedicate her time and money to the cause.
"They did it with such power and love and integrity," she says. "Integrity. There's so much integrity here. And I've never been around that much integrity."
Bullock may be partial to New Orleans for another reason -- it's where her newly adopted son Louis
was born. Calling him her "little Cajun cookie," the actress drives home the point that she did not use her celebrity to get special treatment during the process.
"I did not circumvent," Bullock says. "I wanted to do everything exactly the same way everyone else did. And -- it was -- he was always mine, you know. It wasn't like I felt like someone was going to take him away. But it was nice to have someone say, I think you're a fit parent. ... I think, everything works out the way the universe wants it to work out."
As for keeping the news of the adoption under wraps, Bullock says it was possible because she was surrounded by people with "massive amounts of integrity."
"I read something like, how did someone keep a secret, and it's -- you know-- human beings exist that have integrity, that know how to keep their mouth shut. That know the bigger picture, that don't sell out their friends," Bullock said to Lauer. "Those people are all over the place. But again, we don't like to talk about it, because it doesn't sell a magazine. But I was blessed with the same friends I've had since before things got really special for me and blessed in life."
The actress didn't directly talk about her divorce
from ex Jesse James
, who had multiple affairs while the two were married, but Bullock seems to have begun the healing process.
"Everything passes," she says of the troubled times surrounding her personal life. "It all passes."
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