“Nobody liked it”: Sandra Bullock Bagged $182M Critically Acclaimed Movie After Meg Ryan’s Agent Discarded ‘Pathetic, Predatory’ Script Away

"Nobody liked it": Sandra Bullock Bagged $182M Critically Acclaimed Movie After Meg Ryan's Agent Discarded 'Pathetic, Predatory' Script Away
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After rising to stardom following the success of 1994’s Speed, it wasn’t long before Sandra Bullock garnered her next prominent project, which landed the actress her first Golden Globe nom. Although the critically acclaimed While You Were Sleeping earned her a nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, surprisingly she initially wasn’t even in the race to lead the film.


Finding the lead for While You Were Sleeping was a daunting process for the creators. Before Bullock finally came into the mix, they initially had Meg Ryan in their mind to star in the rom-com, but her Agency wasn’t too fond of the script.

Also read: “That always plays in my favor”: Before Proving Sandra Bullock Wrong, Harry Potter Star Daniel Radcliffe Had a Hard After People Were Convinced He’s an ‘Absolute A**hole’

When You Were Sleeping (1995)
When You Were Sleeping (1995)

The Initial Draft of the Script Failed to Impress Meg Ryan’s Agency

Unlike the story we got, where Sandra Bullock’s Lucy Eleanor saves a man before he goes into a coma, the original draft of the script witnessed the genders being switched. But according to co-writer Daniel G. Sullivan, “Nobody liked it,” and they didn’t succeed in getting When Harry Met Sally Star on board for the 1995 rom-com. Sullivan further explained Meg Ryan‘s agency discarded the offer, stating, “Why would Meg Ryan want to do this movie? She’s unconscious the whole time.”

Meg Ryan
Meg Ryan

This resulted in the duo of Fredric Lebow and Sullivan making some necessary changes to the story, allowing the female lead to do the heavy lifting, and not lie on the bed unconscious. 

“Once we made that switch, everything worked. When a guy is sitting next to a brain-dead woman, it’s very predatory. But when you put a woman next to a guy, it’s sweet”

But even after making some substantial changes in the story, Bullock was still out of the scheme of things, as they reached out to other prominent A-listers to star in the rom-com.


Also read: “I didn’t know how to do it”: Sandra Bullock Accidentally Said Yes To $309 Million Movie That Got Her An Oscar

Sandra Bullock in When You Were Sleeping
Sandra Bullock in When You Were Sleeping

Sandra Bullock’s limited exposure and determination helped her secure the role

After Meg Ryan was out of the discussion, director Jon Turteltaub expressed they reached out to several actors, including Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman to lead the project. However, Turteltaub claimed they were too pretty for the role, and even though they came close to sealing the deal, things eventually didn’t work out. But this resulted in Sandra Bullock securing the role, thanks to her limited exposure and determination in getting the job, following her love for the story. She said,

“I was an auditioning actor. This was the one thing that came along that I wanted so badly, not as a desperate actor, but just because the story was so sweet.”

Also read: “They take things away from me”: NFL Star Michael Oher Blames Sandra Bullock for Ruining His Image With $309M Movie That Landed Her First Oscar Win

Sandra Bullock in a still from While You Were Sleeping (1995)
Sandra Bullock

Up on its release, While You Were Sleeping scored high among the critics and did decent at the box office, making a collection of around $182M, and also cemented Bullock as the next big Star in Hollywood.

While You Were Sleeping is available to stream on Disney Plus.

Source: The Washington Post

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Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1579

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1500 articles.