Sandra Bullock: From Loss To New Love

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Questioning Love

In 1992, Sandra Bullock was a rising star and the brunette beauty was highly sought after in Hollywood. After a string of publicized relationships, she was asked by Entertainment Tonight if she thought there was one person for her to which she replied “I don’t know!” Her uncertainty was revealing into the years of relationships which ensued.

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Love Potion

In 1992, Bullock starred opposite Tate Donovan in the romantic comedy Love Potion No.9 and acting as on-screen lovers led to a blossoming romance off-screen. The two became inseparable and decided to embark on a relationship, but not everyone was convinced. A source on the set said they were surprised to see the intelligent actress fall for someone who was “more interested in his close-ups.” Nevertheless, Sandra moved to Los Angeles to be with her new lover and they quickly became engaged. 

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Lesson Learned

After three years together, Bullock and Donovan ended their engagement and although the actress didn’t speak too much about their break up, the things she said were revealing and gave an insight into their difficult relationship. She told People magazine, “The person who needed me most was always the person I was attracted to.” She continued in explaining “My priorities were him first, me second.” Bullock seemed to learn her lesson but she didn’t let it dampen her love life.

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Words Of Wisdom

Following her failed engagement to Tate Donovan, Sandra described the methods she used to get over the break up. While she advised not to start seeing guys immediately, she did say, “I’m just saying go out and have a conversation and know that they find you attractive and go, ‘Okay, I’m not the piece of trash that I thought I was two days ago.’ Allow yourself a week or two to eat bonbons and be depressed but then make your friends take you out.”

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Diving Into Acting

Fresh off a split, Bullock went head first into her career, taking up roles left, right and center. In 1994 she had the leading role in the critically acclaimed action triller Speed. The film’s success was overt and it went onto win two Academy Awards in 1995. In the following years, Sandra went on to star in a run of blockbuster movies which in turn heightened her profile in Hollywood. However, her single status did not last long and she began dating again.

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Hey There, Cowboy

In late 1995, Sandra was linked to the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. The actress kept tight lipped about their romance and even when Vanity Fair questioned her, she shot back, “I don’t want to put myself in the dating category.” She continued, “It’s going to be a long time before I can trust anyone again. I don’t know anybody who’d want to get involved with me right now, and be put through all the strain, because I have no idea what all the repercussions might be.”

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An Unexpected Date

Despite Bullock shutting down rumors of a new relationship, she sent the rumor mill into overdrive when she turned up at the premiere of The Net with Don Padilla, a film tech. The two appeared loved up and couldn’t contain their glee on the red carpet but the actress had still not confirmed any rumors. It wasn’t until the following year that Sandra admitted she was dating a “really sweet person”, for 10 months but it was difficult because he worked all the time.

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Most Beautiful Woman

Bullock’s acting success propelled her to stardom and she became one of the most eligible actresses in Hollywood. As a result, People magazine named her one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. In 1996, she was also ranked as Empire magazine’s number 58 on their list of “Top 100 Movie Stars Of All Time.” Sandra was receiving masses of attention but she was privately struggling with the breakdown of her relationship which prevented her from dating again.

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Bullock and McConaughey

Sandra evidently backtracked on her pledge to stop dating actors when she allegedly began dating A-list actor Matthew McConaughey. The two co-starred in A Time To Kill and Sandra was said to have got McConaughey the role which ended up being his big break. The couple was said to have dated for around two years but they never confirmed their romance. Sandra did however coyly admit that McConaughey had “become a powerful force in my life”,  and admitting “we have fabulous chemistry together.”

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Are They, Aren’t They?

The prospect of two beautiful, high profile actors dating excited the media and they couldn’t get enough of the co-stars turned lovers. This led talk show host Oprah Winfrey to quiz Bullock while she was promoting Hope Floats in 1997. When Oprah directly asked if they were dating, she replied “No, we are not.” But she added, “whatever woman gets him is going to have to get by me.” Despite Sandra shutting down the rumors, people still considered them an item.

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The Musician And The Actress

From 1999 until 2001, Bullock was predominantly based in Austin, Texas and she began dating musician Bob Schneider. Schneider’s songs including “Blue Skies for Everyone” ended up in Sandra’s movie Gun Shy, while “The World Exploded Into Love” was on the Miss Congeniality Soundtrack. Sandra spoke fondly of Schneider, adding that “As celebrities go, Bob and I have a very low-key relationship. We live our life together one day at a time. It’s something I learned through trial and error.”

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Finding Her Balance

Bullock and Schneider kept their relationship relatively private and away from the press. Nonetheless, when Bullock spoke about her relationship with the musician, she always maintained she was at ease and finally content. She said, “I love working, but I also enjoy this nesting period I’m in…I’ve narrowed my dating prospects down to one person. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t know what that will be, but there’s so much joy now. So much joy.”

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Miss Congeniality Success

In 2000, Bullock acted as the lead woman in Miss Congeniality where she played a tough FBI agent who goes undercover to perform in a beauty pageant. The film became a huge box office hit, not only did it take in $212 million at the worldwide box office but it also won Sandra another Golden Globe for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The movie’s achievements were particularly surprising as it did not receive the best of reviews from critics.

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Single Sandra

After Miss Congeniality, Bullock’s relationship with Bob Schneider came to an end as a result of their conflicting schedules. Reflecting on her relationship and her status as a single woman, Bullock found peace in herself.  She said, “I don’t need a man to be happy. But it takes some time to realize that. I don’t need to find a man to progress as a human being. I’d do it with him. And if I happen to outgrow him, or he outgrows me, that’s what happens.”

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Coming Clean

In 2003 Sandra was in an interview with Cosmopolitan when they referred to Matthew McConaughey as her ex-boyfriend to which the actress did not deny it. The publication asked her how they maintained their friendship and the actress responded,”It’s the work we both put in. There’s a great amount of respect and love. I feel very cared for by Matthew. No matter where he is in his life or where I am in mine—he could be married—I know we would stay close.”

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Movie Set Dating Service

Speaking about dating her co-stars, Sandra admitted that movie sets are “breeding grounds for that kind of stuff, so you just have to have a good set of rules going into it. It’s the greatest dating service on the planet,” she said. “You take two people who normally can’t leave the house, who don’t know if people are with them for the right reasons, and they get paired up because they have chemistry, and they happen to fall in love.”

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The Gosling Rumors

Off the back of discussing movie set romances, rumors were flying on the set of Murder By Numbers surrounding the relationship between Sandra and her co-star Ryan Gosling. When quizzed on the rumors, Sandra replied “Let me see if I can answer that politically and correctly. We’re friends.” However, it was noted that the actress didn’t deny that the two were not romantically involved at all. Their 16-year age gap didn’t stop the two from going all in.

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PDA

Gosling and Bullock turned up to the premiere of their movie arm in arm, smiling and laughing with one another. If the two were trying to hide their romance, they weren’t doing such a good job. Despite looking like a perfect match, their relationship lasted less than two years with some saying that they were forced apart by their busy careers. Nevertheless, Gosling admitted in later years that Bullock was one of the best girlfriends he had ever had.

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Focusing On Acting

Like she had done time and time again, Sandra threw herself back into acting and focused on her career off the back of her break up with Ryan Gosling. Her dedication paid off and in 2004 she had a supporting role in the American drama Crash which was given rave reviews by critics. The film went onto receive the Academy Award for Best Picture and Bullock’s performance was heralded the best of her career. Bullock’s praise led her to secure a higher salary in movie contracts.

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An Unexpected Connection

It was in 2003 that Sandra took her 10-year-old godson to meet Monster Garage star Jesse James after becoming a big fan of the show. Although Sandra had not heard of the show, she did admit to having a hidden love for off-roading on dirt bikes and driving fast vehicles which drew them to each other. Initially, she was tight-lipped on their unlikely relationship but she did admit “No one knows what someone is like based on appearance.”

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The Hollywood Star And The Bad Boy

When Bullock and James got together, their unlikely union shocked Hollywood. The American sweetheart with a bad boy but they defied all odds and went the distance. They were married in 2005 in a beautiful ceremony at the Folded Hills Ranch in Solvang, California, attended by 300 guests. Sandra wasn’t always open to marriage but now said she now looked at it in a different way, saying “Why does it have to be anyone else’s version but mine?'”

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Custody Battle

Bullock and James’ marriage was going swimmingly well until they were hit with a problem in October, 2009. James’ second ex-wife Janine Lindemuler was released from prison after a 6-month sentence for tax evasion and immediately went to seek custody of her five year old daughter Sunny. Jesse had full custody of their daughter and wanted to move her to Texas to be with his wife, Bullock. His ex-wife tried to bring the actress into the custody battle by playing the victim and saying she couldn’t compete.

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Adoption Secret

After revealing the heartbreaking truth that she couldn’t conceive naturally and IVF had failed her, Sandra looked for alternative ways of having a family. Prior to meeting Jesse she thought she didn’t want kids but that changed when she met the father of three. However, in January of 2010, Bullock and James had secretly begun the process to adopt a son born in New Orleans, Louisiana. The baby, named Louis, began living with the couple in secret before announcing the news after the Oscars.

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Oscar Winner

2010 turned out to be Bullock’s most successful year as she won the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side. The actress was overcome with emotion as she collected her award and it was a long time coming. She jokingly turned to the audience and said “Did I really earn this, or did I just wear you all down?” During her amazing Oscar win, Jesse James was by her side the entire time and the two looked more in love than ever.

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Cheating Scandal

Almost immediately off the back of Sandra’s Oscar win, Jesse looked to be in hot water. Several tabloids had published stories of a number of women coming forward and claiming to have had affairs with Jesse James throughout his marriage to the actress. Sandra’s initial response came in the form of cancelling European promotional appearances for The Blind Side, citing “unforeseen personal reasons”. It was also reported that Sandra had moved out of the couple’s California home.

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Coming Clean

A couple of days later, James responded to the rumors which had been plastered all over the press. He said, “The vast majority of the allegations reported are untrue and unfounded … beyond that, I will not dignify these private matters with any further public comment.” He continued in admitting his wrong doing in the situation while seemingly confirming some of the rumors, asserting “There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me.”

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Divorce

Soon after, Sandra was forced to file for divorce from Jesse James, and described her feelings: “I’m sad and I am scared.” Sandra maintained she wanted to protect James’ children and still allow them to see Louis. She said “I know my role is not one that exists on paper, but Louis is their brother, and Jesse and I will do whatever it takes for them to know that their world will not change and still be protected and safe and full of love.”

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Welcoming Louis

On the back of her divorce, Sandra had a joyful secret to share with the world. In April 2010, the actress appeared on the cover of People magazine with her newborn son, Louis Bardo Bullock. Sandra was beaming and stated “He’s just perfect, I can’t even describe him any other way,” she further added “It’s like he’s always been a part of our lives.” Due to Sandra’s divorce going ahead, she filed the adoption as a single parent.

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Adoption Debate

When Sandra revealed that her newly adopted son was an African American baby, it was met with discussion within the black community. Many people questioned why the actress needed to adopt a black baby as opposed to a white one and others postulated whether she was trying to follow in the footsteps of Madonna and Angelina Jolie. Moreover, the People magazine cover raised some eyebrows with many pointing out that the baby was wearing an inappropriate tribal necklace.

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No Looking Back

Sandra was facing life as a single parents and despite having a tough time with all she had gone through, she was able to stay positive. The actress took the view that things were how they were supposed to turn out and she told Vogue “We’re all where we’re supposed to be, I am exactly where I want to be now. You can’t go backward. I’m not going backward.” The outpouring of public support had also helped the actress overcome her rough divorce.

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Another Ryan

A newly divorced Sandra went to film The Proposal with co-star and fellow new divorcee, Ryan Reynolds, ultimately leading everyone to question their relationship status. Their on-screen chemistry was noted by everyone so when the two were doing a press tour, they were hounded about the rumors. Sandra replied to one reporter quickly shutting down speculation stating, “I think there will be a collective sigh amongst women in the United States when I say, he’s not my lover, he’s just an amazing friend I’ve had for 10 years.”

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A Big Year

Sandra Bullock’s biggest year was arguably 2013. The actress starred in comedy The Heat alongside Melissa McCarthy followed by science fiction movie Gravity with the legendary George Clooney. The film premiered at the 70th Venice Film Festival and got a standing ovation. Critics said about the actress, “Bullock inhabits the role with grave dignity and hints at Stone’s past scars with sensitivity and tact, and she holds the screen effortlessly once Gravity becomes a veritable one-woman show.” Gravity took in $716 million worldwide.

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Acting Couple

In 2014, rumors started flying that Sandra had started dating fellow A-list actor Chris Evans. When asked about the rumors, Bullock replied “You guys are a little behind.” She carried on joking, “We’ve since married and it started breaking apart, so we separated. We filed for divorce, and I hope everyone can respect our privacy. But we’re going to remain friends and share responsibility of the farm animals we’ve taken on, because you just can’t abandon the animals.”

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Baby Rumors

In 2015, the press managed to get a hold of some information that Sandra was trying to adopt another baby. When asked about it on the press junket for Our Brand Is Crisis, she hit back “There is only one adopted child in my household and his name is Louis. If I had a second adopted child, everyone would be hearing about it. I would be loud and clear and say ‘Yes, I have officially adopted a second child.’ Right now, Louis must be it.”

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Baby No. 2

However, just two months after being asked of the adoption rumors, Sandra announced that she had adopted another baby, a girl this time. Her daughter named Laila was three years old and had been in foster care. Sandra said about her new baby, “When I look at Laila, there’s no doubt in my mind that she was supposed to be here.” She further said, “I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time.”

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Loving Brother

Sandra said the adoption process for Laila had started three years prior and was actually suggested by Sandra’s first child. She said “Louis spearheaded this whole journey.” She explained that her son wanted to have a sibling and Sandra seemed to love the idea of adding to their family. When Laila arrived, Sandra explained “I knew she was scared, and all I wanted was for her to know Louis and I weren’t going anywhere.”

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A New Man

The same year of her daughter’s adoption, someone else came into Sandra’s life. After hiring model turned photographer, Bryan Randall to take pictures of her son Louis’ 5th birthday party, the actress seemed to take a liking to Randall. Randall had a daughter himself and the two were able to bond over their family and similar upbringing in a loving family. The two began dating but tried to keep their new relationship away from prying eyes.

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Family First

Despite her incredibly successful career in acting, Sandra has often said her family is what she is most proud of. She spoke of the dynamics saying “My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding,” she added, “That’s a family.” Sandra’s love for her mixed up family has led for sources to spill that she is not opposed to extending her family and adopting more children. She is finally at a settled point in her life and couldn’t be happier.

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Bad Bryan

Although Bryan and Sandra’s relationship seemed to go from strength to strength, it was revealed that the photographer did not have such a clean background. It came out to the attention of the media that Randall had a history with drugs and was an addict. He was also recorded to have a history of arrests and did not turn his life around until he had to step up for his daughter who’s mother had died. Since then, Randall had been 10 years sober.

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Perfect Pair

After having a turbulent dating history, Sandra finally found her peace with Bryan Randall. The couple are standing strong after two years of dating and even though many are speculating on an engagement, they are said to be perfectly happy the way things are. Through her dating history, Sandra has made an extra effort to ensure her relationship and family is kept as private as possible. Perhaps this might be the one to go the distance.

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