Credit: Patti Perret

Sandra Bullock stars in Our Brand Is Crisis as political strategist “Calamity” Jane Bodine, a role originally written for her Gravity costar George Clooney. “About two and a half years ago I put out feelers saying, ‘I’m not reading anything I’m excited about,’ ” Bullock says. “ ‘Are there any male roles out there that [the filmmakers] don’t mind switching to female?’ ”

Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov had been developing a drama “suggested by” the 2005 documentary Our Brand Is Crisis, about a group of American political consultants hired by former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada to help him get reelected. After Bullock reached out to Clooney, they decided to flip the gender of the lead role. That character, Bodine, is “basically a female Karl Rove,” Bullock says. “She’s brilliant at the devious side of politics.”

Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Ann Dowd (St. Vincent) costar as consultants who lure Bodine out of retirement; Billy Bob Thornton plays a rival campaign strategist. “It’s all about the win for them, and probably not for the right reasons,” says Bullock.

The film opens Oct. 30, practically prepping Americans for next year’s presidential election. “Timing was very important with this movie,” says director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Joe). “It’s going to start a lot of conversations.”

Our conversation starter: Why the hell isn’t anyone writing decent (female) roles for Sandra Bullock?

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Our Brand Is Crisis
2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 113 minutes