Sandra Bullock Says ‘The Lost City’ Filming Involved a Stomach Bug and No Available Bathroom—’You Held It’

The Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum-led movie, The Lost City, is a throwback to the types of adventure comedies that dominated box offices throughout the 1980s. Not content with going in front of a green screen and faking their way through the elements, however, Bullock, Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Brad Pitt, and the other crew went out to the jungles of the Dominican Republic to make everything as real as it could be. Sometimes, this dynamic was tough to handle.

What is ‘The Lost City’?

According to IMDb, The Lost City is a romantic adventure comedy in which Bullock and Tatum play a novelist and her cover model in the middle of a book tour. After the pair gets kidnapped, however, it quickly turns from the portrait of an artist and a model and becomes something more akin to Indiana Jones. While the film is an unabashed comedy, it has a healthy dose of action and adventure to go along with it,

When all is said and done, it’s a story of what happens when a privileged person finds herself surviving the elements while falling in love. However, that element, the famous person out of the water, wasn’t entirely an act. Insider notes how tough filming could be in the Dominican Republic. 

Filming ‘The Lost City’ was often a chore

According to EW, COVID-19 wasn’t the only thing Bullock and company had to deal with. According to her,  the elements and the lack of modern amenities made filming a chore at times. 

“We were in the middle of a pandemic. We were scared. We then had an epidemic of some parasite,” Bullock told EW. “There was dehydration IVs, almost losing our first AD, jellyfish, boat to boat transfers. No port-a-potties in a jungle. You held it. Or you just didn’t drink any liquids, so you didn’t have to use a bathroom, and then you had an IV at the end of the day.”

Despite the hardships of filming on-location in the wilderness, Bullock’s stories from the film read less like complaints and more about the fascinating lengths they went to make something that they were proud of. According to one of the film’s directors, Aaron Nee, they always wanted the film to be as real as it could be. 

“I remember, Sandy [Bullock], when we first met talking about the movie, and that was a common theme that we talked about, is wanting to have the genuine, immersive experience for the audience of leaving their homes and going to some place that really makes you feel like you’re back out in the world again,” he told EW. “In order to capture that on the screen, we’ve got to really do it. And you guys threw yourselves into it.”

As such, the movie wasn’t always fun to shoot. However, Bullock and company note how rewarding it ultimately was

Finding comedy in harsh conditions 

Sandra Bullock attends a screening of her 2022 movie "The Lost City" in New York, New York.
Sandra Bullock | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Luckily for Bullock and the rest of the cast, there was comic relief to distract them from the elements, and that came from her co-star, Tatum. Bullock has her fair share of critically-lauded comedies under her belt, but she praised Tatum for his ability to make them laugh while going off-script. This helped them grapple with the challenging shooting conditions.

Bullock has long been lauded for her ability to get inside a role, be it dramatic or comedic, and unlock the humanity behind it. In this case, it meant testing her physical limits to portray the film’s protagonist. The film received mostly positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, largely due to Bullock and Tatum’s given performances. However, in a world of green screen and CGI, perhaps the greatest testament is the cast and crew’s lengths to get it made. 

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