The role, which was originally written for George Clooney, shows Bullock as a political campaign strategist helping win a Bolivian election

By Jodi Guglielmi
September 08, 2015 05:15 PM
Patti Perret

Sandra Bullock is a political power player in her latest role in Our Brand Is Crisis.

The first official trailer for the buzzy film is here, and it shows the Oscar-winning actress in one of her most intriguing performances yet.

In the clip, we watch as Bullock portrays Jane “Calamity” Bodine, a political campaign strategist who is pulled out of self-retirement after a humiliating professional upset and is given the chance to redeem herself when she is called to help win a presidential race in South America. Unsure about re-enterting the game, she is persuaded when she learns that Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton), her longtime nemesis, is coaching the opposition.

But as her competitors zero in on her vulnerabilities, and as Bullock’s character wages an internal battle over the moral aspects of campaigning, she quickly changes her views on what’s at stake – the future of the people of Bolivia.

“This is no longer an election, this is a crisis,” her character explains.

The film, based on a 2005 documentary of the same name, was a project that Bullock was immediately drawn to – in fact, she was so passionate about the role, which had originally been written for a man, that she persuaded the filmmakers to switch the character to a woman.

“Initially, it was written with George Clooney in mind,” Bullock, 50, told Entertainment Weekly. “About two-and-a-half years ago I just put out the feelers saying, ‘I’m not reading anything I’m excited about. Are there any male roles out there that they don’t mind switching to a female role?’ ”

With her persuasion, the character of Jane Bodine was born.

“She’s an amalgamation of an essence of a few people,” she said of her character. “She’s someone who’s superb in her field.”

She added, “You don’t get to read roles like this a lot. There’s a lot of unforgivable things that she does, yet somehow you have to cheer for her.”

Our Brand Is Crisis will make its debut at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, and will opens in U.S. theaters on Oct. 30.

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