Pop Culture

America asks, Sandra Bullock answers

For the down-to-earth actress with friend-you'd love-to-have appeal, honesty is the only policy. Sandra Bullock eagerly answered questions from InStyle readers about family, career, style and what's next.

Which role did you really want and not get?— Mary M., Brooklyn
There haven't been any roles that I wanted that I didn't get, but there was a movie I wish I had done: The Matrix. At the time [I was approached about it], it wasn't cast with Keanu [Reeves], and I didn't see myself with the person they wanted [in it]. Later I saw the movie and loved it. It was sexy and great because of Carrie-Anne [Moss] and Keanu.

What made you want to do ‘All About Steve’?— Annisa J., Chula Vista, Calif.I read the script and laughed so much. It encapsulated everything that has gone awry in our society for girls and women, who are pushed to be homogenized. What happened to all the Carol Burnetts in the world? All these great women were allowed to be this unique blend of things. I'm not the blond bombshell; I'll never be that. There's a piece of Mary in everybody -- to be accepted for who you are and not have to change to be seen as normal. To be true to yourself is something I admire. I wish I was like that all the time.

What do you tell a girl who feels ugly because she's not blond or doesn't have a thin nose?— Elizabeth D., N.Y.C.Welcome to my broken nose! [Her sister accidentally broke it while lifting a garage door when they were younger.] ...I was rejected in school because I didn't look like the big-breasted, beautiful girls. I was awkward and sad. My mother always said, "Be original!" but I didn't understand until I changed to be like everyone else. Once I fit in, I was like, What have I done? I realized that my friends before were much cooler, with a great sense of humor and a way of looking at the world that was more fun. But if I hadn't gone through that, I wouldn't have been driven to make my oddities cool. It's what made me have a sense of humor and thick skin. It's like in “All About Steve” — I'm making fun of everything people have judged me for and put it into one character.

How do you stay in shape?— Aus J., Brooklyn
People ask, "How do actresses do it?" Um, they pay us to do this in order to look good on film. I do Pilates, kickboxing, weight training. When I'm in Austin, I run or ride a bike. If I can work out every day, I will. But there are times when I won't do anything for two weeks, and I'm, like, you know what? I talk enough to burn calories.

What's your most memorable fashion moment?— David M., Los AngelesMy wedding dress. It was beautifully handcrafted, with elegant French lace. Angel Sanchez designed it, and every time I'd try it on, he'd say, "Sandra, please [lose] five pounds!" I apologize, Angel. I didn't give him those five pounds, but guess what? That round, shiny, happy person was me.

Is there a child in your future?— Megeen C., South Orange, N.J.I have family in spades. I walk into our house, and it is chaos. Everything we do is about the kids. I haven't had children biologically. I had shut that off; then I met Jesse, and it turned on again. I was like, "Oh, that's that feeling." But we realized we had to take care of some other things on this planet first. I hope to God when we get to a place where all is safe, calm, happy and healthy, it's not too late. Not until recently was it that time to say OK. It's now OK. If I waited too long, it's because we were supposed to do other things. If it is just too late? There are millions of children on this planet that I would be honored to call my own.

What did you learn from waiting tables?— Ayoka L., Charleston, S.C.
If you wait tables in New York, you can do any job in the world…

What's better after 40?— Zigrida D., Ridgefield, Conn.Sex! Everything. I wouldn't go backward if you paid me.

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