The events of September 11, 2001 still have an impact on everyone across the world.
The film, Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close gives a firsthand look into the grief and pain that exist for those closely related to people involved in this tragedy.
Sandra Bullock plays a distraught widow lost without her husband, raising their son who she disconnects from. The movie so genuinely depicted through the eyes of a 9/11 family is nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.
Sandra, a new mother herself, discussed what it was like to transform into a woman stripped of her happiness due to 9/11.
Global Grind: How on earth did you get through this script initially?
Sandra Bullock: It is that kind of feeling. But when you get through it, you feel such a sense of relief that you’re allowed to have that feeling. I think society doesn’t really want us to show that or feel that cause it’s big but it’s what we need to do. I think this film is cathartic in that way. I think it just allows us to feel and get in touch with that kind of loss, and how can we make life sweeter for ourselves and cherish what we have.
Did you prepare in any special way for it? Meet with widows of 9/11?
We didn’t meet with widows. We did a lot of rehearsals. I know people who lost loved ones. I was here that day so I saw it all. We did a lot of rehearsals, a lot research on who this mother was, what the family was, what her relationship was with her husband, and what relationship she didn’t have with her child. We were able to have access to the phone messages that those people that were left behind received from the people who were in the tower. The thing I was most amazed by was at that moment I think the person realized they were not going to make it and they left messages of hope and love and affection. They gave a gift to those left behind that they’ll always have. I’m sure the devastation of not having been there, to have that connection…that they were left with this gift of love. I was so amazed at the tremendous humanity that came out of such an inhuman act.
You’ve sure had your share of leading men over the years that’s for sure, but I need to talk about Thomas Horne.
Oh my word. Every once in a while, a human being is made that is absolute perfection. They all are, but there’s something about Thomas that exudes an energy that you know is going to change the world in some way, shape, or form. He is going to do good on levels that we can’t even imagine. As an actor he never acted and he looked at this as an opportunity. Steven worked with him and helped pull out this emotional life that Thomas obviously possesses. The two of them work together to create that brilliance that you see.
How did you take him under your wing? How did you help him?
I did not help him. I had a hard time not helping him. That’s the relationship that they had but he and I rehearsed so much together and had an understanding offset of such love and support that we knew that once we had to walk on set and a have the relationship that we did. We had safety for each other. You have to make the other person safe. He’s not an adult; he’s not a seasoned actor. Yet, he gave me more safety and a better performance that I ever could have imagine.
Wow! It’s just extraordinary really.
Yeah that’s him.
I was saying this is the movie you definitely need a box of Kleenex to go to. But, what movie has impacted you? What movie do you remember that just made you cry?
Yeah it makes me cry in other ways. The movie I always remember when people ask me that question is Cinema Paradiso. It hits me on a memory level that just floors me every single time. It’s about what got away, what was lost, what have I done wrong that I need to make amends for? So many things…your first kiss, what your first love felt like, life, cinema, what the cinema makes you feel. Youth…it’s gone. It just has so many levels to it that it reminds me of things in life that I’m floored each and every time…the music and the score. That’s the one that gets me every time.
Making a movie like this must make you just want to go home every day and just hug your son tighter.
I do that anyway, but I needed him with me when I did it. I hope this movie does that for everyone! Pick up the phone. You might want to kill your parents; you might want to kill our son or daughter. You’re like “I love you so much, but I just want to strangle you.” But you love them so much. So why don’t you start with that. I know life is hard and it’s fast and so many other things distract us but really the only thing that matters is that. That’s the only thing that matters, really and truly. Just give in to it. Let go and give in to it. It will make your life sweeter.