(Credits: Far Out / YouTube Still)
The action genre has long been a vehicle for creating a star persona, just look at the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, who thrived in the Hunger Games franchise; Daisy Ridley, who led the latest Star Wars trilogy or Sarah Michelle Gellar, the icon behind the terrifying Buffy series. But, back in the 1990s, it was Sandra Bullock who would become known for her escapades in the genre, thriving in a number of contemporary classics.
Rising to prominence in the mid-1990s, Bullock’s first significant break came in the 1993 remake of the 1988 Dutch movie The Vanishing, which saw her star opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges. The film was released the very same year as Demolition Man, a sci-fi that starred Bullock alongside Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes in her first major action role.
Just one year later, her profile would be elevated considerably more, taking a leading role in the Jan de Bont film Speed, which, under the contemporary lens, is considered one of the best action movies of the ‘90s. Playing Annie, a passenger onboard a bus which is destined to explode unless it is kept over 50mph, Bullock shines opposite Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.
As something of a seasoned genre expert, Bullock was asked during her appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert what her favourite action movie of all time was, giving fans an unbiased response in return.
Short and sweet in her response, she answered, “The first Matrix, huge fan. Amazing,” choosing to bypass the action movies she helped to elevate herself.
Released in 1999, The Matrix was one of the most seminal movies of the decade, radiating the underlying fear of the dawning technological revolution, telling the story of a world ravaged by war where robots have imprisoned humans in an artificial reality to keep them complaisant. Starring Keanu Reeves, Bullock’s Speed co-star, as well as Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving and Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix is celebrated to this very day.
In part, there’s no wonder that Bullock enjoyed the movie so much, considering that Reeves worked on the picture and that she herself had something of a personal connection, having been offered the lead role of Neo in the early stages of the film’s production. Clearly admirers of the actor, when Bullock turned down the lead role, the Wachowski sisters offered her the character of Trinity instead, which she also turned down.
Take a look at the clip of Bullock speaking about her favourite action movie of all time below.