One of the top American actors and producers is Sandra Annette Bullock. She has garnered numerous accolades throughout her acting career, including an Oscar Award and a Golden Globe Award. In 2010 and 2014, Bullock was the highest-paid actress in the world. With a small role in the thrilling film Hangmen, she made her acting debut. She became well known in 1987 thanks to her supporting role in the action movie Demolition Man (1993). Her breakthrough performance came in 1994, when she was chosen to play Annie Porter in the action movie Speed, which also starred Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper. The movie enjoyed tremendous commercial success. She went on to see greater success in the following decades, making appearances in movies including Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice.

Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping

Sandra Bullock

Besides being one of the most talented actresses in the entertainment business, Bullock wasn’t the first choice to star in the 1995 film While You Were Sleeping. It was reported that Demi Moore was supposed to play the lead role in the movie. Not just that, but there was also a major change to the film’s plot that was made in order to make the story more appealing during its filming.

In the movie, a woman intervenes to save a man’s life just before he goes into a coma. His entire family believes that Bullock’s character is his fiancée while he is in the hospital. The story’s original concept wasn’t this one. The genders were reversed in the original story. Nobody seemed interested in the idea, according to co-writer Daniel G. Sullivan, who told The Washington Post,

“We went to Meg Ryan’s company, and the development person there asked, Why would Meg Ryan want to do this movie?” She has been asleep the entire time.” He continued, “After we made that switch, everything worked. But when you put a woman next to a guy, it’s sweet. We started calling it “Coma Guy.”

Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock gave a fantastic performance in the movie, but the directors of the film admit that they had Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman in mind for the lead roles before choosing Sandra Bullock.

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Demi Moore’s beauty got in the way of her getting the lead role in While You Were Sleeping

Demi Moore
Demi Moore

The Washington Post spoke to the cast and creators of the film in honor of its 25th anniversary in 2020 to find out how the movie turned out to be a classic hit. The director of the movie, Jon Turteltaub, spoke candidly about the difficult casting process that went into selecting the right lady to portray the lead.

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“I had a meeting with Demi Moore, and we came very close to Nicole Kidman,” Turteltaub said. He continued, “But in the back of my mind, I was thinking that they were way too pretty. It’s hard to de-beautify Nicole Kidman.” According to Fredric Lebow, there were several actresses who passed on the film, including Julia Roberts; Demi Moore was very close to signing on. He remarked,

“The person who was initially meant to do the movie was Demi Moore. They couldn’t agree on a contract, so that fell apart.”

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In Sarkissian’s opinion, Bullock’s minimal exposure helped her when it came to landing a role. Julia Roberts was also present as one of the options, and Meg Ryan was there. Demi Moore was considered, but Sandra Bullock was eventually cast. They were all quite famous at the time, and he laughed that they couldn’t picture any of those celebrities as toll collectors. Lebow, on the other hand, claimed that after reading the script on the Speed set, Bullock contacted the production company about taking the main role. According to him, she indicated interest in the part since she could identify with many elements of the narrative, such as the loneliness and value of family.

Source: Washington Post

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