Cady Coleman is a veteran NASA astronaut who was two-thirds of her way through a five-month stay at an International Space Station when Sandra Bullock phoned her up to get info on how to act like an astronaut. What's more impressive here — the fact that she was in space or the fact that Sandra Bullock can summon pretty much anyone through space (and probably time)?
Bullock, who reached out to Coleman when she was preparing to portray an astronaut in director Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, didn't get Coleman's info through some shmancy Hollywood channels, but instead because Coleman's younger brother works in the wine business and knew Bullock's chef sister.
As for what Bullock asked about on the space call:
"She wanted to know about what it is like to physically live up there and physically move around. 'What would you do with your hands? With your feet? What would be a natural position to work? How often do you see your crewmates? Where do you meet each other?' It was those kinds of things," Coleman recalled.
Bullock, who didn't share much about the movie she was making ("I didn't want to push her to share that," Coleman said), expressed a general interest about life in space.
"We did not share any secrets, personal or professional. I don't know if I have any," Coleman remarked. "It was just a genuine exchange of information. She asked really good questions. I came out of it thinking 'I am really glad that this woman is making a movie about what it is like to live in space.'"
Coleman said Bullock was "personable" and it was almost like talking to a girlfriend. "We're working hard up there and the days are really long, so it was pretty neat to have somebody that you've looked up to on the screen from afar to [get in touch]," she said. Aww!
The trailer is frightening as hell, but Coleman doesn't let it get to her. Too much. "For something that is dangerous and that we do take very seriously, to see your worst fears realized in 30 seconds is scary," Coleman admitted.
One of her favorite things about the film is that "it highlights the real people, including women — smart, strong women that go to space and live up there and work up there — the fact that it would bring attention to that, I think is a valuable thing." Agreed. Considering that Cuarón had to fight to have a female lead, it's nice to see reminders that real badass women are out there in space, exploring the final frontier with the best of them.
Photos via Wikimedia Commons