• Day 19: Sandra Who Had A Ring Put On It

    Date: 2010.03.18 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Who really wants to be famous? Sandra Bullock dreams and nightmares are floating in the collective psyche today, much like jilted Jennifer Aniston packed a global punch when she was dumped by Brad Pitt in 2005.

    So scary to fly so high – and then get sent crashing back to earth with your head face-first in the dirt. Maybe this is why so many people fear success.

    It’s equal parts schadenfreude and disillusionment, isn’t it? On one hand you want to believe someone can have it all as spectacularly as Sandra Bullock – be a cool, smart, anti-star star and savvy businesswoman, tame the bad boy in marriage and win the Best Actress Oscar.

    She got the ring put on it – which remains the great American dream (I guess) for women. At least in the movies. (French women could care less about a ring.)

    But then when it falls apart – we’re also sort of relieved that she’s been brought down a big peg and we maybe feel a bit better about ourselves. Because Sandra Bullock is so successful and smart and beautiful and she did it all on her own.

    Maybe even Jesse James felt the same way – he certainly managed to bring her down a peg. The story’s more about him now, after weeks spent as Sandra’s sidekick. Not the first time a gorgeous, accomplished actress was cheated on and left holding her career all alone.

    Then again, that ring, that American girl dream. And the fallout if you’re attracted to the kind of guy who you should never marry – but you marry him anyway.

    After you get the ring put on, but there is no happily ever after, what’s left?

    The void. Makes you want to reach for something sweet – Ben & Jerry’s, theater-sized boxes of Junior Mints, Toll House cookies and bags of Twizzlers – even if you’re not Sandra Bullock.

    Stories like this are haunting. Her husband Jesse James just apologized today for what clearly involves reports that he cheated on her with an once-Amish tattoo model who looks like a white-trash version of Sandra.

    I wonder about the little details. Like when Sandra left the house she shared with James in Southern California Monday, before she issued a statement pulling out of the London premiere of “The Blind Side,” did she fly back to Austin, Texas, where she’s lived for years, on a commercial jet or a private plane?

    Did she call someone to be with her or was she all alone? I know her mother is dead. This is usually when you want your mother.

    Or because she’s so famous did she take her car and decide to drive back by herself to Austin? I’d want to do that, if I were famous and had just won the Oscar and had endlessly praised my husband publicly, even saying “you’re so hot,” while he was carrying on with another woman.

    I wouldn’t want to be seen in public or photographed.

    But then if she drove herself from California to Texas, how would she avoid being seen when she stopped in a hotel for the night? She couldn’t just go up to the night clerk at a Best Western outside Flagstaff and ask for a room in case he recognized her – in which case paparazzi would be outside her door within 30 minutes.

    Again, who wants to be famous?

    She probably took a private jet home. And I’m only assuming she went back to Austin. I know nothing, maybe she’ll go back to Jesse James but I doubt it.

    But if she did go back to Austin, what is she doing right now? Can she even sleep at night?

    Did she look at the In Touch magazine piece showing pictures of Michelle Bombshell who said she slept with James for 11 months while Sandra was shooting “The Blind Side” in Georgia?

    What did she think if she read that Michelle Bombshell says she calls Jesse James “the vanilla gorilla” because he’s so well-endowed? How do you deal something like that when you’re a internationally famous, Oscar-winning, wisecrack-snapping superstar yet you’re really all alone right now?

    I have a friend who always says “keep busy and do something with your hands” when you’ve just had a bad break-up. But what’s the formula when you’ve had a bad break-up – and the public is privy to the most humiliating details?

    I hope she can preserve the moment she won the Oscar in some kind of emotional amber.

    For some years, I interviewed a lot of stars. Sandra Bullock was a little different. Her personality was more like a sharp-cookie businesswoman than a star. I talked to her for about 90 minutes in a 2002 interview for The New York Times.

    She was single then and in the middle of starring in and producing in a movie. There was something very solitary about her and she had a self-consciousness that movie stars don’t usually have. She was surprisingly uncomfortable being interviewed and reluctant to talk – which surprised me given her easygoing, down to earth reputation.

    There was a lot to her, and she wasn’t interested in giving much of it to The New York Times. She even seemed embarrassed some of the time.

    I interviewed Halle Berry in London that same year, just before she won her Oscar for Best Actress. Unbeknownst to her, her husband Eric Benet was cheating on her also during her run-up to the Oscars.

    Halle had already had a string of bad boys, including one who punched her so hard she lost some of her hearing.

    She won the Oscar and went through a nasty divorce from Benet two years later. The ring came off. It looked bleak for Berry.

    But, you know, she wound up with another guy. He didn’t put a ring on it. She’s still with him, and they have a daughter. They seem happy.

    It’s not over ’til it’s over, Sandra.