By Nardine Saad
6:15 PM EDT, September 17, 2013
As if we need another reason to love Sandra Bullock.
"The Heat" star is Vogue magazine's October 2013 cover girl just before the release of her highly anticipated lost-in-space thriller "Gravity," co-starring George Clooney and helmed by Spanish director Alfonso Cuaron.
She calls Cuaron's groundbreaking film — his first in seven years — "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" and her performance is already generating Oscar buzz.
Bullock has been in the spotlight since the 1990s and writer Jason Gay harps on her relatability in the piece, her 40 films and $3.5 billion in accumulated global box office.
He even quotes Clooney to enforce Bullock's down-to-earth qualities.
"There has always been a really level-headed, smart, funny girl you feel like you know. As if she was the cool girl next to you in school," Clooney said. "She's incredibly funny, but the butt of almost all her jokes is herself. That's just an appealing quality."
But the writer takes measure to ensure people get to know Bullock in the piece, all that fame and tabloid fodder aside.
Life has obviously changed for the Oscar winner since her scandalous divorce from reality TV biker Jesse James. Fresh off her industry accolade for playing powerhouse Leigh Anne Tuohy in the football drama "The Blind Side," she was immersed in the world of tabloid gossip that emerged from James' cheating scandal. Their five-year marriage ended soon after.
Though she wouldn't go into too much detail about the past, she is pretty zen about the whole ordeal.
"We're all where we're supposed to be," she told the mag. "I am exactly where I want to be now. You can't go backward. I'm not going backward. I'm grateful that I'm here, blessed to have what I have. Nobody can be prepared for anything. If you end up in a place where you can look back and go, 'It happened, but I'm so lucky to be sitting where I am sitting...' "
Bullock filed for divorce in April 2010 saying the marriage had "become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities." The proceedings were finalized in June of that year.
During the process, her son Louis, 3, became the center of her universe after she adopted him that January.
"Work was my life before," Bullock said. "Now I have no reason to leave home."
Louis, born in New Orleans, arrived suddenly after a years-long process and somehow managed to stay a secret while she was doing the rounds during the award season.
"There was no crib, nothing," she said. "It was amazing how you just kick in and go, 'This is it.'"
The actress was tempted to announce his arrival during his Oscar speech, but instead decided to thank "moms that take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from."
Melissa McCarthy, her costar from "The Heat," said Louis is Bullock's "number one, and the next one down is 101. He takes up the first hundred slots in her life."
And it's true. The actress has appeared in only a few films in recent years -- 2011's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" and this summer's surprise hit "The Heat." She works tirelessly to make sure her son has a normal life and stays a kid for as long as he can, even if that means her leaving the industry.
"I think this business can take the child out of kids so quickly," Bullock said. "I don't want him to have pressures brought on by what I do. I will quit. I will leave. If I see whatever I'm doing affecting him negatively, I will pack up and move to Alaska."
It's the negativity that makes her want to leave.
"That's what makes me want to step out of this business," Bullock said referring to a tabloid story about an alleged (and untrue) affair that affected her security guard's wife. "When it hurts amazing people I've gotten to know. This is family, you know what I mean?"
The 49-year-old is open to having more kids and signing up for a sequel to "The Heat," but for now she's just "sort of seeing where life goes."
"If all of a sudden someone said, ‘You have five more kids,' I'd be totally OK with it," she said. "I'm having such an amazing time. Whatever comes our way, we handle as a family. It's not just me anymore."
And that's probably why she has ventured out to businesses away from Hollywood. Bullock opened a flower shop/bakery and law-office-turned-bistro in Austin, Texas, where she lives.
"The acting thing is so beyond my control. Acting isn't mine. You're like a tiny piece in this big, corporate mechanism that needs chemistry and divine intervention," she said. "This is mine," she added, referring to her Austin-based businesses.
And that already harsh spotlight is just another reason for her not to be on Twitter.
"I don't want anyone to know where I am."
For now, we can find her and her new cropped haircut on the cover of the mag, which hits newsstands Sept. 24. "Gravity" launches in theaters Oct. 4.
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