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September 12, 2015 04:55 PM

When Sandra Bullock wants a role, she goes for it.

The actress stars as a political strategist in Our Brand Is Crisis, a part originally written for a man. (Pal George Clooney, one of the film’s producers, was reportedly up for the role).

In a time when, generally, more leading roles are written for men and men make more money, Bullock opened up about how women fare in Hollywood today.

“There’s so much talk of that right now, and it’s getting heightened, which makes me very happy,” the actress, 51, told reporters Saturday at a press conference for the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival. “What I’d like to comment on is the fact that I was able to say: ‘Would you be able to take a role that was written and that you guys have worked on and cherished a long time and change it to a female?'” she added.

“And there was not a lot of hesitation. The only hesitation was: Can the writer do it? So that, hopefully, shows a shift in the climate for women in film. We still have some climbing to do.”

Bullock also noted that she and costar Zoe Kazan had discussed the hot-button topic as well, noticing the leaps and bounds being made for female characters on cable and Netflix.

“I’d like to throw that onto the heap as well, because there have been massive changes there. We still have some ways to go, but I don’t mind being the one to ask, ‘What do you got that you haven’t made yet, that you’d be willing to change for me?'” said Bullock.

“And hopefully, I mean, what would be very helpful was if this film has a level of success that makes the studio go: Okay, this is a viable thing for us. We want to make more of this for women out there. Hopefully those worlds will come together.”

Joked Clooney, “We’re going to do Twelve Angry Women.”

As for what drew Bullock to her character? “She was human. Flawed. We’re all flawed,” the Oscar winner said. “I love how complex and human she was. She was unlikable, and she was struggling, and that, to me, is interesting to watch, because it’s in all of us.”

It wasn’t just the role’s depth that was alluring, though that drew her to it: It’s the message the film sends out – especially to her son, Louis, 5.

“I look at things now, I’m going, ‘What am I leaving behind for my son? What things do I want to say that I want to parlay to him in what I feel about the world, how I want the world to be and the people I admire?'” Bullock said, later adding she considers motherhood her “real job.”

For full coverage of the 2015 Toronto Film Festival – including the hottest premieres, the biggest stars and the buzziest films – check out people.com/tiff, instyle.com and ew.com

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