In Premonition, Sandra Bullock (Miss Congeniality, Crash) stars as a housewife who gets the news that her husband has died in a car accident and then wakes up the next day to find it hasn't happened yet. She soon discovers that the days of her week are taking place out of order, and she may be able to save him. Sounds a little like The Lake House (her romance movie with Keanu Reeves which centers around inexplicable time travel), right?
We think so, too. But don't mention that to Bullock. "It's to me two completely different scripts that were really good. One was a love story with paralleling times that were different. And this was, I think, a beautifully written thriller that actually had bigger meaning and incredible depth. But incredibly complicated," she explained. "I was just lucky that I was able to do various different films with different kinds of motifs. Two of them happened to deal with time."
Premonition was originally slated to film in New Orleans. "I was the one, like at the very beginning, I go, 'I don't want to be too far from home. I want to be in the middle of the United States. I love New Orleans. Let's shoot there. They have great tax incentives,'" said Bullock. "I love the way it looks. I love the way it feels. And then the storm hit, and we went 'hrmmm.'"
After Hurricane Katrina, the film community in Louisiana suggested Shreveport as an alternative. "Shreveport is proving now to be a great place," she said of her time here. "I wish they would get direct flights. They need to make the runway longer. They need to get bigger flights 'cuz it takes an entire day to get there, which is hard for production. If you need a crane or you need something, you don't have it readily available."
The shoot was a grueling one for Bullock, whose character, Linda, plumbs some heavy emotional depths. "I had the hardest time I've ever had working," she said. "You know, films shoot out of sequence anyway, which is nerve-wracking. So you're everyday looking at the scene going, 'We're shooting the end at the beginning, we're shooting the middle at the end.' So you always have to go back and see what happened before the scene you're shooting. And then, on top of that, having the days be out of order--the character's days are out of order. And then on top of that, you have to get yourself to an emotional state of grief, all the levels of grief, every single day for 12 hours a day for 3 months in Shreveport, Louisiana, with no flight back home, in this house, in this cocoon."
Bullock plays the mother of two little girls in the movie. "I remember the first film I ever did where I had a child. I said, 'I don’t want you to send me an actress. I want you to send me a kid,'" she reminisced.
And she has nothing but praise for the two little girls who were chosen for Premonition. "When we did the hard scenes, the really hard scenes where we tell them that their father's been in an accident--you have no idea the heartbreak, the tears, the pain. And they were able to ad lib. And they loved each other so much. Those two girls were so sweet to each other."
Whether or not Bullock has plans to have any children of her own is more of a touchy subject. "Here's the thing: I have children. I married into children. I love those children," she explained. "My concern and my love for those kids as a co-parent is no less than if I had that child biologically. I don’t see the difference between that and having your own child biologically. My priorities, my love, my want, my wishes for them, my discipline, my rules, my fun - is because of my children. I have them. I'm lucky."
She also feels kids aren't the right choice for everyone. "I love them enough to know that some people shouldn't have them. And there are so many children in our United States that have no homes, that have no place to live, whose parents have dropped them off on the door step," she started. "What are we doing about that? What are we doing about taking care of our elderly? What are we doing about taking care of those people who have gone to war and fought for us and are now in Walter Reed Hospital--that has now been blown open--whose mothers are taking care of them? They have to pay for their own uniforms. What are we doing?"
"Let's take care of what's right in our neighborhood," she continued. "If everyone looked at their own 2 block radius, and said, 'I'm gonna take care of right here. And I'm gonna be responsible for this right here.' And if every neighbor did that, do you know how much more functional we would be?"
Okay, back to the business of the movie. Does Bullock worry about how her choice of Premonition and other scripts could affect her celebrity/box office status? Not so much. "I could give a sh!t about my status," she said. "And my status has been knocked off the pedestal so many times. If I don't perform the way everybody expects you to perform, your status is automatically knocked off whether or not you like it."
She continued: "Tomorrow everything could shift, you know? It could all go to video graphics and holograms and we're no longer a viable commodity, so... You know, you just do your thing rather than looking externally and fighting to keep that, because you will lose your mind if you do that."
Well, let's hope not. Because you sure do give good press conference.
Premonition comes to theaters this Friday, March 16th.
Check out reelz.com's Premonition page for clips from the film and more!