Stepping on to the appropriately yellow coloured carpet for the London premiere of Minions, Sandra Bullock looked absolutely stunning. In the new animated spin off of the successful Despicable Me films, Sandra voices a super-villain alongside the much-loved characters Stuart, Kevin and Bob.
The 50-year old actress is no stranger to challenging roles, one of her recent ones being a stranded astronaut in the technically groundbreaking film Gravity. With a career spanning over 30 years, she has starred in multiple genres of film, from the action comedy Miss Congeniality, to the heart stopping drama Crash and the inspirational true story Blindside which won her an Oscar in 2009. Now she has taken a walk on the dark side voicing the part of Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb (John Hamm), hatches a plot to take over the
Sandra says it was her son Louis, five, who first introduced her to the Minions and inspired her to be a part of the movie. But she also admits that she enjoyed playing a baddie for once. At the London premiere, Sandra spoke to Vicky Dearden about her latest project.
WHAT’S YOUR REACTION TO THE LONDON PREMIERE?
My reaction? Look at it. It’s so great. Actually I prefer the yellow carpet. It makes you happier. It’s not as stuffy. It makes everyone relaxed. Everyone seems to be in a really playful mood, which is so nice.
YOU MUST HAVE LOVED PLAYING THE VILLAIN IN THIS MOVIE. SCARLET OVERKILL IS A GREAT CHARACTER.
Oh yes, yes. I mean I’ve played tough, aggressive women before but to actually to be a villainess, it’s liberating, because I think we all are villainesses on the inside but society just asks us to be well-behaved and we don’t really want to be well-behaved – at least I don’t.
SO IS IT GOOD TO BE BAD?
It’s so good to be bad! It’s nice and get paid for it which is even better.
AND YOU ARE USUALLY SUCH A LOVELY NICE PERSON BUT YOU’VE GONE ALL EVIL IN THIS?
[Jokingly] Not really, not really. Now finally the truth will be out and evil will prevail, I will make sure of it! [laughs] It’s liberating because we all have the baddie in us and we’re all crabby and bitchy and we’re just not supposed to be so it was so liberating and fun.
HOW DID YOU FIND JUST USING YOUR VOICE TO PLAY SCARLET?
Ah yeah, well, it wasn’t easy put it that way. I now have a whole new respect for the people who do this. Steve Carell is a god in this world. It didn’t come naturally to me but they [the directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda] helped me through it. I was really proud of what the outcome is.
SO VOICE WORK DIDN’T COME EASY?
It was one of the hardest things I’ve done. They were really helpful in the fact that this is not my forte, it’s not something that I do as an actor, you use your face and your body. All I had was my voice and they constantly, nicely asked me to do it because I was giving them nothing of what they needed.
WHEN YOU’RE IN FRONT OF THE MICROPHONE DO YOU USE YOUR BODY TO GET INTO THE PART?
Unfortunately yeah and they film you while you’re doing it. You forget about it, like you do so many months, it went on two years and I think back and I’m like, ‘Please, dear god, don’t let any of this footage show up anywhere on the internet.’ Because I was doing horrible things to my face. But it needed to be done to get the effect. When your face is squished in animation you must squish your face in real life.
WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE MINIONS THAT MADE YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS FILM?
I wanted someone to be able to take them down and I thought it could be me – I was wrong. But you know what? They’re innocent. Nothing they do is malicious, it’s always out of naivety that someone inadvertently gets killed. And everyone understands them, it doesn’t matter what the language is, everyone understands the Minions and they feel exactly what they’re saying.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE MINIONS THAT EVERYBODY LOVES, AT ANY AGE, ANY NATIONALITY?
Because they’re able to make you laugh without using words that you understand. The Minions can always make you laugh, no matter how highbrow you might think you are, they’ll take you down a notch and bring you to the same level that we’re at. And again like I said, they’re innocent. There’s not a lot of innocence left so that’s nice.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH THE MINIONS? WERE THEY DEVIOUS? WERE THEY GOOD? HOW
Well, look at them. As much as you want to crush them and take over you just look in their eye, well, the eye, and you fall in love. Look at him! And then they creep up behind you like that and just urgh!
SO IS THIS GOING TO BE A MOVIE THAT SMALL KIDS AND BIG KIDS WILL LOVE WORLDWIDE?
Yes, the reason I did it because I wanted to make something my son could see and I could watch him enjoy. Even though he doesn’t know what I do and he doesn’t know it’s me, I can sit in the theatre and watch him. And nothing makes me happier than hearing that boy laugh. Physical humour and animation, it kills me, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that.
TEXT: HOT FEATURES | PHOTOS: DREAMSTIME