Sandra Bullock has said it is ‘heartbreaking’ that films and books aimed at women are undervalued, adding that female audiences are ‘thought of as less than’ and that ‘the things that bring you joy or escapism are not valuable’.
The actress stars in new rom-com adventure The Lost City, opposite Channing Tatum, as reclusive romance writer Loretta Sage.
During the promotional tour for her new book with cover model Alan (Tatum), she is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire, played by Daniel Radcliffe, in the hopes she can lead him to an ancient city’s lost treasure that features in her books.
In one scene in the film, her character dismissively refers to her romantic books as ‘shlock’, prompting Tatum’s Alan to scold her for being scornful about material that is meaningful to so many of her fans.
Miss Congeniality star Bullock said that line – and Alan’s defense of a female readership – was ‘very specific’.
She told the PA news agency: ‘You know, it’s hard to respect [something] when everything coming at it is triggering. And then you have to look at the source of why it is being talked about or thought of in that way, and if you really get down to why – it’s heartbreaking.
‘It’s heartbreaking because you’re a woman. And you’re thought of as less than, and you’re thought of as whatever your needs are, the things that bring you joy or escapism, are not valuable. And that’s a hard pill to swallow.’
Describing the attitude showing ‘absolutely no respect’, the star explained the importance of the line and it coming from a man as ‘someone who typically would be saying those things or having us believe those things’.
Praising how ‘beautifully’ Tatum delivered the line, the Oscar-winner added: ‘So it was really powerful, and especially how he said it. It was so genuine and full of love, saying, “All these millions of people, you’re bringing them joy? Why are you being disparaging towards their joy, their happiness, so it takes it out of yourself?”’
Harry Potter star Radcliffe also chimed in, saying it was ‘so crazy’, what people are ‘dismissive of’.
Sharing a personal anecdote of the ‘toxic’ attitude, the 32-year-old actor revealed he had witnessed a friend being ‘so disparaging about everything that his girlfriend read’.
‘His girlfriend, who is, I know, an infinitely smarter person than him,’ Radcliffe commented. ‘And I do feel like that kind of attitude permeating things is so toxic.’
The star, who Bullock said she fell in love with on set to Metro.co.ukalso compared his experience, admitting that ‘as a teenager growing up in Harry Potter, I didn’t feel cool’.
However, his opinion was altered by ‘realizing later how much joy it has brought to people’.
He added: ‘It is an incredibly special thing. And if you do anything except be incredibly grateful for that, it’s a shame.’
The Lost City is released in UK cinemas on April 13.
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