Sandra Bullock on her name-sharing mother who couldn’t choose a favourite

The 49-year-old actress tells the story of her mother, whose humility won her the moniker ‘Sunshine’. Bullock says she’s not much better

Sandra Bullock talks about her parents with their ‘uniquely flat’ tone of voice.

Sandra Bullock on her name-sharing mother who couldn’t choose a favourite.

In the role of the innately lovely and incredibly simple Luann Hennessy, Sandra Bullock takes the title role in Sunshine on Leith, which opened in the US on Friday and is to open here in the new year.

The 69-year-old character has her own development problem – she could barely have picked a more unique name for herself, given it means “divine light of joy” – and has a hermital relationship with her mother, whose main contribution to her life is said to be, in Bullock’s words, “A uniquely flat tone of voice that I always found very endearing”.

While her mother can be a source of pride for Bullock, Bullock herself has always been reluctant to claim her as an inspiration.

“It was a generational thing,” she told Vogue magazine. “I was a very open child. I was an accident. I have no shame about that. I was 6 when I realized I loved seeing people eat.

“I didn’t ever stop eating as a child, but I never talked about it, either. And when I got to be 5, I started writing home all the recipes I was making – I didn’t have a chef’s kitchen, I had a backyard.

“So I think you have to start it with love – why anyone should want to do anything … it takes time to learn how to be a cook, or to be a good picky eater.

“And, you know, as I got older, I realised I admire beauty and I’ve enjoyed it. I mean, I have.

“But it’s a tricky profession, because some of the prettiest, most elegant women I’ve ever met were 20-year-old oil heiresses. And it’s hard. So I don’t ever associate with those things.”

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