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Sandra Bullock on Her Rom-Com(ish) Return, Tearing Channing Tatum’s Leeches in ‘The Lost City’

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With The lost city, Sandra Bullock returns to the romantic comedy genre she’s helmed for three decades: don’t limit the adventure film to boy meets girl.

“Romantic comedies don’t have a big cinematographer, they don’t have a big budget; rom-coms don’t really get funny like I like to be funny because you have to find that balance between being the love interest and then loving someone,” Bullock said. The Hollywood Reporter to break genre boundaries at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday. “We didn’t have to wear that, and it gives you a lot of freedom. The action-adventure part of it – I loved that there were three different types of movies that had to be together or it wouldn’t work.

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In the Paramount movie, Bullock plays novelist Loretta Sage, who is captured by an eccentric billionaire (played by Daniel Radcliffe) during his literary tour with Alan (Channing Tatum), the cover model of her latest novel, going to her rescue. Bullock is also the film’s producer and said when it came to casting her romance, she knew Tatum would be the right choice after knowing each other for years.

“I knew the way I saw him as a human being in real life and what I saw him – what a lot of people don’t see in him – I was like, ‘I’d love to see that play out with someone. ‘one that’s as tightly wounded as the character I’m playing,’ she said. “You need people like Chan in front of people like my character, and he’s just awesome.”

As the two venture into the jungle, the film sees Bullock’s character ripping leeches from Tatum’s bare back and buttocks in one scene, which she says was a “very precise” process. “I had to pull them out of areas that needed precision,” she joked. “You jerk something too hard and you know what’s going on, something comes loose.”

The rest of the cast quickly turned to fans when discussing Bullock’s return to the rom-com world, including Radcliffe, who said that after reading the script, “I was like , ‘I want to see them do this.’ I think that’s generally a good rule of thumb, to make the movies you want to see,” in his villain role, which he describes as “a fun villain.” Bowen Yang, who has a supporting role in the movie , was quick to give Bullock her accolades as the queen of romantic comedy.

“She’s able to give you such a range of things between physical comedy, broad comedy, but also that grounded protagonist relationship that you just ingrained for her character, no matter how cynical she seems at first, little it doesn’t matter how bad she is or how jaded she is about things,” Yang said. “My favorite kind of movie is literally a romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock in it, but it has so much more to it.”

Thomas Forbes Johnson, Dana Cox, Stephan Lang, Oscar Nunez, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Radcliffe, Liza Chasin, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Bowen Chang, Adam Ness, Aaron Ness and Hector Anibal - Credit: Vivien Killilea/ Getty Images

Thomas Forbes Johnson, Dana Cox, Stephan Lang, Oscar Nunez, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Radcliffe, Liza Chasin, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Patti Harrison, Bowen Chang, Adam Ness, Aaron Ness and Hector Anibal – Credit: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

The film also sees a small role played by another iconic idol, when Brad Pitt makes a brief appearance in the middle of the rescue mission. It all happened thanks to hairstylist Janine Thompson, who counts both Bullock and Pitt among her clients.

“She just brokered this deal, she just started whispering to them both,” co-manager Adam Nee said. “It was the craziest thing, and all of a sudden they were like, ‘Brad bends over’ and we were like, ‘Did we even give it to him? And then he just showed up and we put him in the outfit and blew up cars behind him.

As the film is about to hit theaters, it features a different title from its original, first called The lost city of D. Co-director Aaron Nee explained, “Sandy’s character, Loretta, has a book in the movie called The lost city of Dand so initially we were working from that title, but as funny as it is, we didn’t want the film to be misinterpreted as a parody,” in reference to the 2016 adventure drama The Lost City of Z. “It’s a comic adventure but not a parody.”

Inside the screening, held at Westwood’s Regency Village Theatre, Bullock thanked the directors for their leadership in filming amid the pandemic, and told the crowd they felt “so lucky to have been able to do what I love to do, which is to make people laugh in a way that has not been given to me for a long time.

The lost city hits theaters on Friday.

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