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ON THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF BLACK PANTHER AS A MOTHER TO A BLACK SON
"I started to cry backstage when I was telling [the Black Panther cast not only] how much the film meant to me as a woman, but how much it meant to me as a mother," she told Access Hollywood at the 2018 Academy Awards, referencing her experience seeing the cast right before the interview.
“I’m so grateful to Marvel because about five years ago, my son asked me if there were any brown Legos,” she continued. “And I said, ‘Yes, there are,’ and I got a Sharpie and I turned Spider-Man brown, I turned the Legos brown, and I don’t have to turn them brown anymore.”
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ON HAVING 'THE LOUDEST CHILDREN ON THE PLANET'
"The babies are so good. So loud, so loud," Bullock said during an appearance on Harry of her son Louis and daughter Laila, both of whom she adopted in 2010 and 2015, respectively. "I have the loudest children on the planet. I don't know if it's the acoustics [in our home], but they are amazing." She added: "They're just good, funny souls."
In 2016, she echoed those same statements in an interview with Access Hollywood. "It's so much louder, because she's got a voice that carries," Bullock said of welcoming Laila to the family. "She's going to be a singer, or a judge. Someone who commands a room with her voice."
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ON WELCOMING DAUGHTER LAILA
"When I look at Laila, there's no doubt in my mind that she was supposed to be here," Bullock told PEOPLE exclusively, adding that Laila fit right into her growing family. Louis was so excited to be a big brother, he helped his mom spearhead the adoption process, the actress shared.
"All I wanted was for her to know Louis and I weren't going anywhere," Bullock said. "My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding. That’s a family."
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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY
It's family first for Bullock, especially when it comes to her career. "I wanted to make something my son could see and watch and enjoy, even though he doesn't know what I do and he doesn't know it's me – I can sit in the theater and watch him," she said of her decision to work on Minions for son Louis. "Nothing makes me happier than hearing that boy laugh."
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ON HOW SHE PICKS HER ROLES NOW
Putting her family first also means Bullock is super selective about the roles she takes on. In fact, Bullock, who told PEOPLE at the Toronto International Film Festival that she was "having fun just being a mom," stressed the importance of finding a passion project – much like 2013's Gravity. "It had to be something extraordinary that would be a life experience for myself and my boy because he comes with me," she said about her role in 2015's Our Brand Is Crisis.
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ON HOW SHE WORRIES LIKE ANY OTHER MOTHER (& WE LOVE HER FOR IT)
"Am I the mother my son deserves? And am I living my authentic life? Am I good enough, working hard enough? Am I able to keep my son safe? Did I pick up all the dog poop in the yard before the playdate?" she told PEOPLE of learning to control her worrying thoughts. "Worrying used to be very paralyzing for me, and now I can talk myself off the ledge. Louis is the one who snapped me out of it."
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ON BEING A ROLE MODEL
Turns out, Bullock's son Louis is the one to ask all the tough questions in the star's household. "Louis asks me some serious questions, and I'm really honest with him on a level he can handle. It's a beautiful thing," she told PEOPLE. "I want him to be a good man who is good to women and is really in touch with how he feels."
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ON CELEBRATING MOTHER'S DAY
... Even if it means spending it in tears. "He sang me a song that he wrote ... I didn't have the heart to tell him he plagiarized," she joked to Ellen DeGeneres about her son's surprise serenade. "[The song goes], 'There was a mom I love so much and Sandy was her name-o.'" Cue the water works. "I'm just like, 'Ahhh!' He played the harmonica in between, and then he just kept looking at me. He's all boy with a really tender heart."
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ON FINDING A KID-FRIENDLY PLACE TO WORK
"'It has to be a great time for my son. I can't miss him. If I miss him, I will be of no use to you," Bullock recalled telling Gravity director Alfonso Cuarén and the movie's producers before she accepted the role.
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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ... DANCE
The Oscar winner offered up sound advice to a group of high school graduates during her 2014 commencement speech. "[Louis and I ] turn on the music really, really loud before we leave the house, and the rule is you have to dance a little bit before you step out in the world because it changes the way you walk," she tells the class. "It changes the way you walk out in the world."
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ON STICKING TOGETHER
"Whatever comes our way, we handle as a family," she told Vogue in 2013. "It's not just me anymore."