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Sandra Bullock has Cartier in her sights
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Sandra Bullock has Cartier in her sights

Friday, 13 July 2018
By Frank Rousseau
Frank Rousseau

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6 min read

She may have girl-next-door looks, the zesty brunette has proven her ability to play any kind of role, including an Oscar-winning performance in The Blind Side in 2010. Like diamond, the 53-year-old actress has both strength and sparkle… which is just as well as in Ocean’s 8, her latest film, she recruits Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson and Rihanna to help her steal a priceless piece of jewellery. Meet an irrepressible lady with a solid-gold sense of humour.

In Ocean’s 8, you and your all-girl gang make off with a diamond necklace worth $ 150 million. Do you agree with Marilyn that "diamonds are a girl’s best friend"?

Not really. I’d be more inclined to sing “real estate is a girl’s best friend”! [laughs]. I find non-precious stone, brick and mortar, far more appealing. If you show me a diamond or a fabulous watch, I’ll say “wow!” whereas if I see a building that has potential, something I can buy, then I’ll say “yeah!”. The deeds to a house or a plot of land shine much brighter in my eyes than some giant rock or a complicated watch. Having said that, I can appreciate the ingenuity it must take to create a truly superlative watch. But if I had to choose, I’d rather have the key to a villa hung round my neck than a diamond. Plus there’s always the risk that a watch or a bracelet might slip off your wrist, whereas a building will never come undone. Well, not if the foundations are solid! I have two kids and we spend a lot of time outdoors. There are certain accessories I just wouldn’t wear for a game of baseball. But I admire the work of jewellers and watchmakers, particularly the classic styles. I love timeless design.

Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
Do you own a lot of watches?

I do, though I wear them one at a time. I don’t see the point in wearing two [laughs] and three’s complicated when you only have two wrists. I don’t know about you, but I’m not Shiva!

Do you remember your very first watch?

I’ve owned a heap of watches and as I like to tinker, most of them didn’t last long. But don’t worry, none of them were Cartier!

Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
The Cartier necklace in Ocean’s 8 is worth $150 million. If someone gave you that amount of money, what would you do with it?

Like I said, I’d invest it in real estate. I’ve never been one to gamble or play the stock market. I work hard for a living and I like to spend my cash wisely by investing in property. Sure, I’m old-school, so what? I put money to one side too; in the film industry, you never know what tomorrow might bring. I also tell myself I have young kids and that I have to be able to pay for their education until I’m a little old lady! [laughs] But why ask? You have a spare $150 million you want to give me, is that it?!

Cartier is an 'institution' that has fascinated generations and will do so for generations to come.
Sandra Bullock
What does the Cartier name conjure up for you?

Decadence, beauty, and a history that goes back to the origins of jewellery-making. Why do I think that? Because Cartier is a prestigious name that goes beyond any fashion, any era, and whose craftsmen and women have always produced the finest quality. “Institutions” like Cartier create watches and jewellery that have fascinated generations and will continue to do so for generations to come. Which is rare. The other thing that comes to mind are those little red boxes. That would be great if they could send me one! [laughs]. Although I can imagine the kind of safe I’d need to store jewellery from such a prestigious maker. Honestly, I’d be too afraid to wear a $150 million necklace. You’d be far too tempting a target with a work of art like that around your neck.

And if Cartier gave you the necklace from the film…

Then it would be a taxable benefit. If Cartier’s willing to pay, I’ll take it! Seriously, you’d have to be crazy not to, although I don’t really see myself walking around wearing it. Honestly, if someone gave me a gift like that, the first thing I’d do would be to take it apart and give the diamonds to friends and family. I’d keep a couple for myself, of course, and I’d bequeath the biggest one to my daughter, Laila. I don’t think Louis, my son, is really into jewellery! Of course, I don’t imagine for one second that Cartier has the slightest intention of giving me a multi-million dollar necklace. But if someone were to gift me a Cartier watch, I’d be delighted to wear it. In fact I’d be honoured. Cartier watches have such a beautiful design. One of the things I love about Ocean’s 8 is that it revolves around an extraordinary work of art. And I have to say that Anne Hathaway wears that necklace with such class and grace. But it’s a film, a made-up story, fiction. An ordinary person like me could never get away with wearing a necklace like that. It wouldn’t go with the rest! Either that, or I’d get hauled in by the police on suspicion of robbery! [laughs]. It wouldn’t be any different if it were a watch, either.

Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock
Anyway, you're like a diamond yourself, you're indestructible!

Smooth talker! [laughs]

Would you sell your soul for something you really wanted?

For a tub of ice cream, definitely! I’ve been shooting myself with ice cream since I was a kid. My favourite is milk chocolate and vanilla with peanut butter dark chocolate chips. I know, not exactly healthy but God is it good! It’s my cocaine. Anywhere, anyhow, I’ll eat it! I remember being with a friend who was as much of an ice-cream addict as I am. We were in New York, and we asked the cab driver to stop at the nearest drugstore. It must have been like -8° outside, and he says, “I guess you guys want to warm up with a hot toddy” when we really wanted ice cream. He must have thought we were crazy, eating ice cream when everyone else was sniffing and shivering with cold.

In all your career, which is the dumbest scene you've ever had to film?

I prepared for my role in In Love and War by reading First World War nursing manuals. There was one that showed how to treat a broken arm but also how to cook eggs. I imagined myself on the battlefield asking a wounded soldier, “Would you like your egg boiled, poached or scrambled? Boiled? Now would that be hard or soft?”.

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