Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock told ‘Today‘s Matt Lauer that it was friends with integrity who made it possible to keep the adoption of her “little Cajun cookie” under wraps until she was ready to go public with the news.
“I was blessed with the same friends that I’ve had since before things got really special for me and blessed in life – and when things get bad, they’re still the same friends,” Bullock said Tuesday, tearing up a bit as she made reference to her divorce from unfaithful ex-husband Jesse James.
Joking that baby “Louis has the stage,” Bullock is now filling her time as a mother to her 8-month-old son, who was born in New Orleans, and with charity work in the city.
“I spent so many summers and New Year’s and fun times in New Orleans…. It was always a place where I felt like I could go and actually let go and enjoy the spirit of something,” she said of her attachment to The Big Easy.
Bullock has donated time and money to the Warren Easton Charter High School there, which suffered more than $4 million worth of damage in Hurricane Katrina. It now has a near 100-percent graduation rate and, thanks in part to Bullock, a new health clinic.
Bullock was joined in the interview by school board member Arthur Hardy, who said he was initially shocked to get a call from Bullock herself about the school.
Bullock says she approached the adoption process like an average citizen. “I did not circumvent. I wanted to do everything exactly the same way everyone else did. It was nice to have someone say you’re a fit parent, which is what I heard.”
“No one understands the shift in priorities [that comes with] having a child in your life that you are responsible for, until you have a child,” she said. “It just shifted the first day I met him, and it was like he’d been there the whole time, but everything was different.”
Loyal friends that are “good people with integrity” helped keep the process private. Bullock hailed them as “Human beings… that know how to keep their mouth shut, that know the bigger picture, that don’t sell out their friends.” She then joked, “They know if they screw up, they’re not coming on the next vacation, I’m not going to babysit their kids. I will cut them. I will take them down.”
Hardy said New Orleans has adopted Bullock in return. “This whole city has fallen in love with her. She belongs to us, don’t mess with Sandra. You hurt her, you hurt us and you better be ready for a fight,” he said.
It seems, indeed, that everybody loves Sandra. Lauer capped the sitdown with a similar warning he received from a New Orleans journalist before the interview: “Be nice to Sandra. Because she, to us here, is a hero.”