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Text 5. Sandra Bullock, a Non-typical Hollywood Star

Before You Read

1. Answer the questions.

1. Do you like watching Hollywood films?

2. Who is your favourite film star?

3. What makes a real film star: the beauty, hard work, talent or all things together?

4. What makes a good film?

5. Would you like to have a career of an actor/actress? Why ‘yes’ or why ‘no’?

Vocabulary Notes

phr бути на сьомому небі від щастя

n схожість, спорідненість

phr v спадати на думку

n штраф

n чарівність

v наймати

adj несумісний

v прищеплювати, навіювати

n долоня

phr v заборонити, покласти край

n метушня, безлад, шум

phr залагодити справу

adi приголомшуючий

Reading File

Sandra Bullock,

A Non-typical Hollywood star

Sandra Bullock fits the image of a Hollywood star perfectly. She can be all looks and glamour at photo shoots and red carpet events, but she can also just be your cute and funny neighbourhood girl. She was a wonderful choice for leading roles in light-hearted comedies like ‘While You Were Sleeping’ and no less brilliant star in action movies like ‘Speed’. However, she’s unlike the majority of Hollywood girls because of her natural sincerity and slightly confused smile. For this, she’s adored in America and throughout the world. In fact, her colleagues call her Miss Congeniality after the title of the film that brought her the biggest number of honours and awards.

Sandra was born in a suburb of Washington, D.C., but she spent her childhood in Nuremberg. Her mother Helga Meier - an opera diva who German critics called Maria Callas - and her father, part-time vocal coach John Bullock, dreamed to see their daughter Sandra Annette become a singer or a musician. Since her childhood Sandra was taught music, but along the way she lost her desire for classical music. At seven the girl cut both palms to avoid having to play the piano. Once her parents took her to the Salzburg Opera, where Helga Meier was a prima donna. They wanted the girl to play one of the supporting roles in the performance, but little Sandra created such a ruckus on stage that Helga had to pay a huge fine to the director of the theatre to settle the matter. After that Sandra’s parents put a lid on her musical career.

Her mother had inculcated in her a sense of beauty, gave Sandra her first lessons in acting techniques and familiarized her with the onstage life. However, at the same time the girl felt very lonely around her mother.

Because of forced music lessons and trips and tours with her mother, she had no time for children’s games, no friends… nobody. Then, when she was 12 years old, Sandra’s parents told her they were moving to the USA. She was on cloud nine. This was her chance to change her life drastically.

Man proposes but God disposes. Because of her accent, the girl was called the German and was largely ignored. Everything changed in her senior years, however, when the energetic Sandra headed the cheerleaders for a school sports team.

After finishing school Sandra entered East Carolina University, where she chose two majors, drama and law, which seemed absolutely incompatible at first. However, she didn’t study at the university for a long time. When it dawned on her that nobody in East Carolina would notice her, she set out to conquer New York, with her parents’ blessing. By then she was 22. Sandra developed an intensive programme to conquer the artistic Olympus. In many ways, her experience was similar to the way that most Hollywood actors start out, as the girl worked in cheap cafes for several years to pay for the acting courses. At one point, she dreamed of becoming a model or a stewardess, but no one hired her. The charming German failed to conquer New York, however, so after spending three years of her life there, she left without regrets and moved to Los Angeles.

There, she passed an incredible number of movies and castings tests, and finally destiny smiled at her. In 1989 she played in a small performance where famous critic John Simon noticed her. He emphasized the actress’ “wonderful natural gift” and opened the way for her - no, not to the big screen, but to the innumerable TV programmes. There, Sandra was noticed by the producers and invited to take the leading role in the comedy, ‘Love Potion No.9’1. The film failed, but Sandra recommended herself as a comic actress. Now breaking into Hollywood was not a distant dream, but a reality. As a real Hollywood actress, she needed to star in some smashed hit - and soon she got her opportunity, co-starring with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes in the film ‘Demolition Man’2. But even this star company didn’t bring her immediate fame.

The next step was the film ‘Speed’ in partnership with charismatic Keanu Reeves. On the day of the premiere Sandra Bullock realized that her dream had finally come true - she had become a genuine Hollywood star. Her career developed rapidly from there. Today, Sandra Bullock is known as an actress of many roles.

In addition to movies, Sandra has three more big passions: mountain climbing, Latin American dancing and the Internet. Previously, she enjoyed riding motorcycles, but her dad using his father’s authority made her change that to an armoured limousine with security, something more suitable for someone with the star status of his daughter. Fans of Miss Congeniality often annoy her in the Internet chats, however, and who knows what they’ll make of it when they read her sincere and lasting words in her new interview, “I don’t like fans.”

Building Up Vocabulary

2. Match the words and phrases (1-7) with their definitions (a-g).

1. To avoid

a) to be successful when you get involved in something;

2. To familiarize

b) having the powerful personal quality to attract and impress other people;

3. To be ignored

c) to try not to do something;

4. Genuine

d) to teach somebody about something, so that you start to understand it;

5. A cheerleader

e) not to be paid any attention to;

6. Charismatic

f) real; exactly what it appears to be;

7. To break into

g) a member of a group of girls wearing a special uniform, who encourages the crowd to cheer for their team at a sports event.

1 “Love Potion No.9” - “Любовне зілля №9”.

2 “Demolition Man” - “Підривник”.

3. Choose the correct words from the text to complete the sentences.

1. She can be all looks and …. at photo shoots and red carpet events.

2. At seven the girl cut both … …. having to play the piano.

3. Little Sandra created such …. on stage that Helga had to pay …. to the director of the theatre.

4. After that Sandra’s parents …. on her musical career.

5. Her mother …. in her a sense of beauty.

6. Her mother …. her with the onstage life.

7. Because of her accent, the girl …. .

8. The energetic Sandra headed. for a school sports team.

9. When Sandra entered East Carolina University, she chose two majors, drama and law, which seemed absolutely …. at first.

10. Sandra Bullock had become a …. Hollywood star.

4. Find the words in the story to talk about:

• the image of Sandra Bullock;

• her childhood;

• her career in Hollywood.

Comprehension Check

5. Work in pairs. Discuss the questions.

1. Why is Sandra Bullock adored in America and throughout the world?

2. Where was she born?

3. What did her parents do?

4. Did Sandra eagerly learn to play the piano?

5. How had Sandra’s mother influenced her?

6. What was Sandra’s childhood like?

7. Did she get higher education?

8. What did Sandra Bullock do to conquer the artistic Olympus?

9. Is she a famous actress now?

10. What does she like doing?

6. Choose the correct item to complete the sentences.

1. Sandra Bullock was a wonderful choice for leading roles in …. .

a) detective films and westerns

b) light-hearted comedies and action movies

c) thrillers and horror films

2. Her colleagues call her….after the title of the film that brought her the biggest number of honours and awards.

a) Miss World

b) Mary Poppins

c) Miss Congeniality

3. Her parents dreamed to see their daughter Sandra Annette become …. .

a) a singer or a musician

b) an actress or a film star

c) a journalist or a writer

4. When she was 12 years old, Sandra’s parents told her they were moving …. .

a) to Germany

b) to France

c) to the USA

5. After finishing school Sandra …. .

a) travelled a lot

b) ed East Carolina University

c) worked as a model

6. When it dawned on her that nobody in East Carolina would notice her, she …. .

a) set out to conquer New York

b) moved to Los Angeles

c) returned to Germany

7. Sandra worked in cheap cafes for several years …. .

a) to pay for the acting courses

b) to get experience in cooking

c) to earn her living

8. When Sandra moved to Los Angeles, she …. .

a) got a role in the film

b) was noticed by the famous producers immediately

c) passed an incredible number of movies and castings tests

9. On the day of the premiere of the film ‘Speed’ Sandra Bullock realized that …. .

a) it was success

b) her dream had finally come true

c) the film was really good

Reading and Thinking

7. Number the events in order they happen in the story.

A. After finishing school Sandra entered East Carolina University.

B. Sandra Bullock became a Hollywood star.

C. When the girl was 12 years old, her family moved to the USA.

D. The energetic Sandra headed the cheerleaders for a school sports team.

E. Sandra was born in a suburb of Washington, D.C., but she spent her childhood in Nuremberg.

F. Because of her accent, the girl was called the German and was largely ignored.

G. Sandra failed to conquer New York, after spending three years of her life there, so she moved to Los Angeles.

H. She passed an incredible number of movies and castings tests.

8. Complete the statement.

The text is about …. .

a) Hollywood

b) life and career of Sandra Bullock

c) the image of Hollywood stars

9. Read and say if the statements are true or false.

1. Sandra Bullock fits the image of a Hollywood star perfectly.

2. Since her childhood Sandra was taught music, and she liked classical music very much.

3. Because of forced music lessons and trips and tours with her mother, she had no time for children’s games, no friends …. nobody.

4. Sandra didn’t want to move to the USA.

5. The energetic Sandra headed the school sports team.

6. When Sandra entered East Carolina University, she chose two majors, business and law.

7. After spending three years in New York, she moved to Los Angeles.

8. In 1989 she played in a comedy where the critic John Simon noticed her.

9. The film ‘Love Potion No. 9’ failed, but Sandra recommended herself well as a comic actress.

10. As a real Hollywood actress, she needed to star in a blockbuster.

11. Her career developed rapidly from the film ‘Speed’.

12. Today, Sandra Bullock is known as an actress of many roles.

10. Complete the sentences given below.

1. Sandra’s parents were …. and they dreamed …. but the girl …. .

2. When their family moved to the USA …., Sandra …. .

3. After finishing school Sandra Bullock …. .Then she …. .

4. Sandra Bullock’s dream to become a Hollywood star had finally come true because …. .

Discussing the Story

11. Say what character traits helped Sandra Bullock become a Hollywood star.

Speaking File

12. Talk about your favourite actor or actress.

Writing File

13. Write down a short summary of the text according to the plan.

1. The image of Sandra Bullock as a Hollywood star.

2. The childhood of the actress.

3. The way to the artistic Olympus.





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