In the horror movie sensation Bird Box, Sandra Bullock plays an overly protective parent fending off forces she cannot see. In the real world, the doting mother of Laila, seven, and Louis, nine, admits the monsters in her life are paparazzi!
"The kids are very afraid of them," Sandra, 54, reveals to TV WEEK.
"I always remind them that nothing is going to happen to them when they see them following us and to keep their heads down and keep walking."
Bird Box is based on the 2014 Joel Malerman novel about survivors living in a world where supernatural entities have caused mass suicides among people who have seen them.
The film has become a global phenomenon thanks to a meme-filled social media campaign and the boast from Netflix that 45 million accounts had seen it in its first seven days. It's also another hit for Sandra, who won an Oscar in 2009 for The Blind Side and led the female heist team in 2018's Ocean's 8.
As Malorie in Bird Box, Sandra tries to guide two children down a dangerous river, blindfolded, to safety. The film also flashes back to how Malorie first learned of the arrival of these apocalyptic forces while she was pregnant and how she and strangers banded together to survive.
"I read the script and thought, 'This is going to be great visually', but once you are in it, you realise one of your tools for acting is completely taken away," she says of workin
"I realised how much I relied on my eyes to tell a story in film. It made me angry and frustrated and fearful, so I took all that and let it affect the work too."
Sandra also became a mama bear to her two young co-stars – Vivian Lyra Blair, five, and Julian Edwards, six.
"We had to do things where I had to jump in the water and pull them out," she says. "We had a good rapport, so I could let them know that everything was safe and they felt confident.
"But when you see their faces after a loud noise or a fright, you know they weren't acting. Fortunately, as soon as we were done shooting, they were off playing and able to disassociate with what we were doing."
She adds with a laugh, "I didn't help traumatise them for life!"
Bird Box is streaming on Netflix.