Role in GravityEdit
As much as possible, director Alfonso Cuarón and company tried to avoid placing the actors in wire-rig harnesses that spun them upside down to simulate weightlessness. The problem: It's too obvious that gravity is pulling at face and body muscles. But for sequences inside the ISS, where Bullock moves horizontally as easily as a swimmer through water, there was no other option. Attired only in a T-shirt and undies, like Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in Alien, Bullock wore a 12-wire rig that was attached with harnesses molded to fit her hips and shoulders. Each of the four attachment points—one on each hip and shoulder—had three wires attached to computer-controlled servomotors. These, in turn, were connected to a platform that moved along the studio ceiling and configured Bullock into various positions like a marionette's. On-set puppeteers—their actual job title—supplemented preprogrammed moves with joysticks to smooth out jerkiness. Extended shots were pieced together from multiple fragmentary takes, because even someone as fit as Bullock could fight gravity convincingly for only so long. "Sandra was amazing at it," Webber says. "She was incredibly adept at hitting her marks and miming weightlessness."