• Sat, Jul 26 - 9:20 am ET

The 12 Ups And Down On Sandra Bullock’s Hollywood Roller Coaster Ride

sandra bullock miss congeniality armed quote

The ageless beauty. The quirky cute heroine. Sandra Bullock radiates class in every aspect of her life, but its her film career that is generating the strongest heat as of now. As we ring in the big 5-0 for Sandra Bullock, let’s take a peek at the ups and downs of one of Hollywood’s biggest A-list stars. It’s true, don’t question it. She’s a big deal.

After decades in the business and a complete revamp of her image in the past few years, Sandra (yes, we call each other our first names) has turned her beautiful but quirky on-screen persona into an Oscar winner with the lady balls to attempt a role many passed on. Looking at you Nat Portman and the ever-intimidating Angelina Jolie.

Not everything has always been peachy keen for “Gracie Lou Freebush.” A devastating cheating scandal, failed engagement, a tendency to be typecast and some unfavorable flicks did add some free falls to the Bullock-coaster. Although, we know this superstar and charitable soul overcame every obstacle to become one of the highest paid actresses in this crazy biz! If you can’t tell, I’m slightly in love (obsessed) with Sandra Bullock. No, I don’t intend to journal about our fictional relationship or break into her house… that was someone else.

Here are 12 stops along the Sandra Bullock Hollywood Dreams Roller coaster (fame isn’t optional):

1. Speed and that steamy chemistry with Keanu Reeves was indeed her breakout role, but let’s not forget the little gem that is Love Potion No. 9! This underrated piece of rom-com confetti introduced the quirky cute persona that would come to be her calling card. Then there’s Tate Donovan. He serves as her failed engagement (I mean we all will have one, right?). She admitted to spending much of her 20s trying to convince him that she was indeed the best he was going to get. In hindsight, I’d say she’s counting her lucky stars that one crumbled like a cookie. Sorry Jimmy Cooper, The O.C.  is the best you’ll be getting.

2. Midnight margaritas and doomed love—my favorite bits from her attempt at witching it up. Practical Magic is one of those guilty pleasures that somehow tickles what’s left of our cynical hearts (ok, maybe that’s just me). Either way, I’ll never forget those four witches dancing around the kitchen, whipping up some margaritas—magical. High point for you Sandy. You go, Sandy!

3. By far one of the highest peaks on the Sandra coaster of fame, Miss Congeniality. No lie, I may have watched this last night in preparation. I feel no shame. Netting a Golden Globe nomination for this complete gift to mankind, Bullock was a CIA agent turned Miss USA pageant contestant. I still find myself laughing at her slightly jaded, butchy agent. No doubt the girl needed a makeover but she got the man and threw Candice Bergen in a police car. Stupid Cathy Morningside had it coming, trying to blow up poor Cheryl… sorry, I’m getting off track. We all learned what it truly means to pageant cry from Gracie Lou, admit it! And as a final reminder, world peace is always the answer.

4. Enter Ryan Gosling. Now I personally see the attraction, plus Murder by Numbers had a little kinky heat to it, but come on. Sandra had to know dating this tot (he is 16 years younger) would not end well. I say shame on him for not holding on tighter to this cougar, but hey there’s always Eva Mendes. Only a slight dip in the Bullock-coaster. Everybody makes mistakes.

5. Another small peak, think baby mountain, came with her role in the acclaimed ensemble hit Crash. I freely admit to loving every ounce of this movie, and its convergence of tales in Los Angeles. Jean Cabot, Sandra’s role, does pluck the heartstrings when not a single soul will come after she tumbles down the stairs. Plus her emotional outburst at the latino locksmith; genius. This gave a glimpse of the dramatic actress hiding within.

6. In 2005, Bullock married Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame. The romance began similar to a fairy tale, a chance encounter led to a beauty and the beast-esque relationship. Had Sandra finally found her little bit of happiness? For now she had landed a rugged man and only time would tell…. I have an overwhelming feeling you know where this one is headed, but we must wait.

7. Let’s jump ahead and talk Premonition. What. A. Dud. I mean, her husband was hot, but what exactly was the story? I was in a coma-like state of shock through the entire flick. He was there one day, dead the next, so on and so forth. Take a hard pass on this one. Plus her husband was cheating on her? Perhaps this movie was THE premonition she should have paid attention to, err, Jesse James anyone. Bullock coaster plummeted.

8. Then the year of contradictions, 2010. The year Sandy took home an Oscar and a Razzie. I try not to dwell on the negatives so I’m going to state that All About Steve was terrible and made me cringe and squirm the cushions off the couch. Not a solid choice, by any standard. But, all was forgiven in the form of The Blind Side. This is Sandra Bullock’s shining light in a career of many successes, some flops and a teensy bit of typecasting. As Leigh Anne Tuohy, Bullock brought a story of hope, ambition and incomparable generosity to life in such a realistic way that tears might have poured down every cheek in America. The Oscar race was no contest. She had accomplished what few ever do, Bullock had made a solid career into just a stepping stone. This counts as a steep mountain on the Bullock, for sure.

9. I did want to mention that incredible high before dumping the disaster of her marriage to Jesse James on top. As her star was rising further, her marriage was decimated by the revelation he had cheated on her. A LOT! Clearly his tattooed arms felt more comfortable wrapped around a prostitute (ok, maybe none of them were prostitutes). Either way, this bevy of “women” (use that term loosely) came forward, spilled their guts for a paycheck and ruined Sandra’s supposed happy ending. I do not care for Jesse James. So I’m going to leave this negative moment alone. All is not fair in love and fame.

10. So children are a gift to anyone’s life, I guess. That isn’t meant to sound unconvincing. I’m more of the type that prefers to praise other people’s children and have none of my own. Sandra Bullock does not agree with me. While still married to James, they started the adoption process which is super tedious, even when you’re a celeb. So Sandy got a wee child shortly after the split. She wanted a little nugget, and nothing could stop her! That’s when Louis entered the picture. According to super reliable sources (i.e. People, Star, etc.), these two are thick as thieves. They do exactly what a mother and son pair would be expected to do, go trick or treating in fabulous costumes with Melissa McCarthy. Either way brownie points for Sandra. She’s building a family, ya know?

11. Here it is, the BIG shebang! Gravity. Holy crap in heaven. I was paralyzed/catatonic or something after seeing this. Every muscle in my body had remained clenched for so long that rising from the theater seat was impossible. That’s how incredible Sandra was in this sci-fi/action/dramatic masterpiece. I will admit my skepticism at how an entire film could be centered on two characters, well, really only one. Sorry to spoil that. But she pulled it off. In my humblest opinion, the Academy f-ed up this one… she should’ve won.

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