Out-of-this-world talk with Sandra Bullock

Actress Sandra Bullock, who stars in the movie

Actress Sandra Bullock, who stars in the movie "Gravity," with Kidsday reporters (l) Daniel Andrade, Anthony Yanza and Ariana Augi, 11, at the Warner Bros. screening room in Manhattan. (Oct. 1, 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly)

We went to see the new movie "Gravity." It is an inspirational film about an astronaut, Dr. Ryan Strong (Sandra Bullock), who becomes stranded in space.

This intense movie filled us with mixed emotions. It made us laugh, cry and tremble with fear. We got chills from this thrilling movie that kept us on the edges of our seats. The 3-D effects were phenomenal. We had no idea how beautiful Earth looks from space. The film is rated PG-13, but we think it is fine for kids 10 and older, as long as they can handle a few curse words and a couple of floating corpses.

We are wondering why the movie is called "Gravity," since it takes place in outer space, where there is zero gravity. Gravity or no gravity, make sure you see this movie and remember to hold on tight and don't let go!


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RATING: 41/2 out of 5

After seeing the movie, three of us were lucky enough to talk with actress Sandra Bullock about making it.

Has your interest in space exploration changed since you've starred in this movie?

Not so much the exploratory side of things, but I'm really fascinated by . . . the people who chose to go up there and why they would want to do it. Space I love because I'd love to see what other universes are out there. Life-forms -- that side of space really fascinates me, but getting into a rocket? I like my car.

How did you go to the bathroom while you were in the space suit?

You know what -- that's a great question. I stopped drinking liquids because by the time I got into the suit, then I had to crawl into this contraption, and then they locked me in. It took about 20 to 25 minutes to get into every single thing. Getting out of it and getting back in was a miserable experience. I just stopped drinking any liquids an hour before I did it. Probably wasn't the healthiest choice, but I didn't want to get in and out of the contraption more than I had to. But I asked the astronauts, how do you poop? They weren't really forthcoming with that answer, now that I think about it.

Near the end of the movie, you said, "I hate space." Did you mean it?

Oh, yes. By that point in the shoot, we're about halfway in, and I . . . there's always a moment of pain; I was always in some kind of pain shooting this. I didn't get to see anything, so I was pretending and imagining everything. By that point, when we had that line, I've been beat up pretty well, so it was fairly easy to say. So, yes.

How much help did you get from NASA to prepare for the movie?

We had a lot of people that were experts in the machinery and the mechanics of things. My brother-in-law got me connected with an astronaut who was in the ISS [International Space Station] at the time. Just pure coincidence. I was able to have one call with her and ask her about how does your body move in zero G. We had a lot of people who were knowledgeable with all the technology. NASA was always there on set for any questions. I was able to actually talk to the astronauts myself.

Tell us about the swimming scene at the end of the film.

I was so excited to do the tank work because it was about 25 to 30 feet deep. I loved diving, and I thought, finally I get to do this where I don't have to pretend like I'm moving slowly. I had a regulator, and then the hardest thing I had to do in this film, and I didn't realize what it was, I had the Russian space suit on; I had to unzip it and get out of it and start swimming, and I couldn't get it off. All the divers had already swum off, and they were away from me. . . . You can't see or can't breathe. It's on a count system. I panicked.

How's making a space movie different from the other movies you've made?

Completely different. Not only because it was space, but because the technology they needed to be able to film this only became available six months before we were shooting. I was in a 9-by-9 box with LED lights by myself, clamped in there for hours and hours. I could see nothing. On normal sets, you have people and lights and props and things to help you, and interaction. Everything that you see in a scene, we pretty much didn't see. That's completely different from making a regular film, where you have everything you can see right there.

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