Sandra Bullock, like many other actresses in Hollywood, is happy that Jennifer Lawrence’s essay on the gender salary gap turned heads and added to the conversation about women’s rights.
Bullock, who was raised in a politically conflicted household, has been very vocal about a number of issues recently. In a recent interview, the actress said that she was happy that the Hollywood gender gap “got a spanking.”
Despite being one of the most powerful leading ladies in Hollywood over 50, Bullock said that over the last few years she’s been struggling to find good roles for women in film. Before taking the role in the Paul Feig comedy The Heat, Bullock said she was looking for something different than the typical roles she was being offered in Hollywood.
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Bullock told Time Magazine, “I thought of it a couple years ago before I did The Heat, when I was looking for comedies. I said, ‘I want to do what Jim Carrey’s doing.’ I was looking for something he didn’t want.”
Despite being an Oscar winner, Bullock was still fighting for Carrey’s scraps. The fact that Sandra couldn’t demand better work or complex roles really breaks open a huge problem in Hollywood — that it’s run by men for men. Even in her latest film, Our Brand Is Crises, Bullock is playing a role that was originally written for a man. Once the actress stepped into the role, the only thing that was changed were the pronouns associated with the character.
Of the salary issue, Bullock said, “Thank goodness Hollywood got a spanking. It’s hard because why should I complain? Very few people get to do what we get to do. I know as a woman in the business, the likelihood of me still working at my age was almost impossible, and yet here I am.”
The actress highlights the shift that happened. The fact that women don’t get paid enough or equal to their male co-stars isn’t new. This has been happening for decades. The difference is that women are finally speaking up, where in the past they were shamed to be silent about it.
“Other women felt exactly the same way. And we felt shame because of it. Now something has shifted. All the women started bonding and going, ‘Wow, why don’t you get this? You did an amazing job. Why aren’t you getting part of the merchandising?’ We came together, shared this information and supported each other.”
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This isn’t the only issue that Sandra is talking about. While promoting her new film Our Brand Is Crises, she spoke about how she explained racism to her 5-year-old son Louis, who is African American. At the time, Bullock explained that while he doesn’t understand why people just each other based on the color of skin, he understands that people do.
While being interviewed, Bullock said that it’s “an open conversation we have.” In addition to racism, she also explained her to her son about homophobia and sexism.
Of how much she has educated little Louis, Bullock said, “He knows a lot for a 5¾-year-old, but I think if you don’t start the conversation very early on, you’re doing them a disservice.”
As for giving Louis a sibling, Bullock recently said that there is no other baby in her life right now and that Louis is her sole focus. The actress didn’t have any comment on her new boyfriend, photographer Bryan Randall.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]