As she raises two children with longtime love Bryan Randall and stars in the buzz-worthy The Lost City, Sandra Bullock currently rates her life at a 9.2 out of 10 — a high number, to be sure, but one that recognizes that "the other shoe will drop."
In a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning's Tracy Smith, the 57-year-old actress opened up about being on a professional and personal high, only to have it all come crashing down. In 2010, after years of filing paperwork to become an adoptive parent, Bullock received a call "out of the blue" that a baby boy, Louis, would soon be hers. "I was handed a plastic bag and a child," she told Smith. Bullock and then-husband Jesse James kept the adoption process quiet, and the Blind Side actress went on to win a Best Actress Oscar just two months later.
Though Bullock now admits she was more preoccupied with getting home to her baby on Oscar night than bringing home a gold statuette, her joy was short-lived. Shortly after her Oscar win, multiple women went public with claims that they'd had an affair with James, who had been married to Bullock since 2005. The Monster Garage host subsequently entered a rehabilitation facility in an attempt to salvage his marriage, but by April Bullock had filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized that July and Bullock opted to adopt Louis as a single parent.
Dealing with the shock of James's betrayal came second to raising her infant son, Bullock told Smith.
'So much had happened," Bullock said of the scandal. "How do you process grief and not hurt your child in the process? It's a newborn — they take on everything that you're feeling. So my obligation was to him, and not tainting the first year of his life with my grief."
The Oscar winner went on to adopt daughter Laila, then a toddler, in 2015. Both Louis and Laila are Black, and Bullock teared up as she addressed her fears about keeping them protected in a society in which racism continues to run rampant.
"My children are Black," she said. "I have a level of defense that millions of mothers have that aren't white. I have an understanding of how scary it is."
Choking back tears, she added, "I just get really emotional because I think of hundreds of years of women who've never been able to relax into motherhood. They've never been able to relax."
Black mothers, she continued, have to worry about their children "in a way that we as white women have not had to worry."
"You worry about other things, but if you really, really, really take a minute and think about [it]," she added, pointing to "hundreds of years of mothers not being able to enjoy, freely, the birth of child; their son becoming a young man. All of those things represent fear and loss."
Despite excitement over the Lost City, which she also produced, Bullock is more committed to taking a break with her family than ruling the box office. Though she hinted in a recent Fox News interview that she'd be back on screen when her kids — currently preteens — are around 16 or 17, the Hope Floats star told Smith that she'll return once she stops thinking "I want to be at home" when she's filming.
"I'm not doing anyone any favors, who's investing in a project, if I'm saying, 'I just want to be at home,'" she explained. "Because I was always running ... to the next thing. I just want to be present and responsible for one thing."
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