In Touchstone Pictures' new romantic comedy The Proposal, Sandra Bullock stars as Margaret Tate, a high-powered New York book editor whose life is about to change. Facing deportation to her native Canada (and with it, the end of her career), the quick-thinking exec declares that she's actually engaged to her unsuspecting put-upon assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds), whom she's tormented for years. Andrew agrees to participate in the charade—but with a few conditions of his own.
Filmmakers tapped Bullock early on for the role of Margaret. "She's really fun to play, because she's in all of us," says Bullock. "Margaret doesn't try and rectify any of the wrongs. She doesn't apologize. She doesn't feel like she has to make the world like her. She has a job to do, and she's gonna get it done. And there's a large part of me in that."
"I feel really lucky that we got her," says producer Todd Lieberman of Bullock. "She's a phenomenal actress and she can do any role, but she's so good and naturally gifted at comedy. People love her even when she's playing someone who's as hard edged as the character Margaret."
Producer David Hoberman adds: "Sandy gets to play a really fun character—there's a lot of physical comedy in this movie, so she gets to do everything her fans want to see. She's really smart and had really good instincts about her character, the script and the comedy."
Director Anne Fletcher was equally impressed by Bullock. "Sandra Bullock is a female comic genius," says the director. "There really isn't anybody on her level. I've been completely and utterly spoiled by her professionalism, her talent, her mind, her sense of humor, her sense of being. And her chemistry with Ryan is bar none."
The character of Margaret intrigued Fletcher. "Margaret starts off being a hard-nosed business woman who only focuses on work and wants to get to the top, and that's really the only goal that she has in life," says Fletcher. "When you really dig deep into this person, you realize that she's got a lot of flaws. Margaret starts out really hard, but during the course of the film, she becomes herself again."
Bullock adds: "Margaret was written the way they usually write the male roles, which are usually the juiciest. They're allowed to be complex, unattractive, crabby, difficult, fun and funny, which is not how female characters are usually written.
"The film also reminds me of the really well-constructed comedies that happened to be about a relationship failing, working and failing again—and they don't write ‘em like this anymore," adds Bullock, "From the way Anne Fletcher sets up the scene, cinematographer Oliver Stapleton lights it and the landscape is used in the comedy, you realize that we're not making a light, superficial romantic comedy. I think screwball—rather than romantic-comedy is a better way to describe this film."
Opening across the Philippines on July 29, The Proposal is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.