“Being allowed to do that is very rare, we always have to fight for things,” Bullock says. “But for a while we were left alone to see if we could get this movie to where we wanted to go and get it green.”
Crafting the story of reclusive author Loretta Sage (Bullock) and her unexpected adventure in the mythical city she is famous for writing about was an inspiring process for the creative team. It allowed the lead actor to “throw up” all the things she’s always wanted to see in action comedies. And when it came to uncovering the truth about their own life stories for laughs, Bullock and co-star Channing Tatum were fearless. “We used a lot of real stuff, we don’t care,” laughs Bullock. “Channing and I have no shame!”
With Fox on board, Chasin and Bullock also began digging into Sage and the journey she would go on throughout the film. Although audiences encounter her as a novelist, that wasn’t always the case for the character. Once a historian with an archaeologist husband, Sage is passionate about preserving the past. But, as Bullock explains, “Sex sells!” It wasn’t sexy enough, so she put in some sex, and you have a romance novel that has a secret story surrounding it.
Struggling between her passion and her profit, Sage quickly became even more intriguing and fun for Bullock.
“To me, funny isn’t funny unless it’s someone between a rock and a hard place,” Bullock says. “Funny isn’t funny unless you have the balance between pain and loss to show you, ‘Oh, that’s funny, because it was so tragic.'”
So what did the creative team behind the film decide was the best way forward for Sage? “We put her in the jungle with a cover model,” laughs Bullock. That cover model is Alan (Tatum), who graces the front of Sage’s novels as romantic hero Dash. “Imagine the pairing of someone who’s stuck in their head,” Chasin says, “and someone who’s completely stuck as far out of their head as possible. That’s a recipe for success.