Sandra Bullock appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk Ocean’s 8, but ended up talking a lot more Miss Congeniality.
During the interview, Ellen joked that she basically made Sandra’s career because she auditioned for both Miss Congeniality and Speed, quipping, “Do you ever thank me for your career?” After a brief repartee between the two women, where Bullock joked that she and her family thank Ellen every night when they say Grace, Ellen insists that she’s serious. Then, the Ocean’s 8 actress revealed a nugget about the infamous pageant comedy that actually proves Ellen’s theory.
According to Bullock, the writer of the film, Marc Lawrence, saw Ellen hosting the Emmys back in the day, and the out lesbian actress talked about wearing a dress, and that she didn’t like it, or “it didn’t feel like you.”
“Maybe he lied to me, maybe he did write it for you,” Bullock explained. Ellen added that it was never offered to her, but she found out later when Lawrence approached her and said, “You inspired me cause you were learning how to walk [in the dress].”
Now everything makes total sense. Every time I watched Miss Congeniality in my youth, or watched it more recently and yes, it holds up I’ve thought to myself, Gracie Hart is far and away a queer woman. After 18 years of speculation, I finally know for sure that the suit-wearing, swagger-walking, gender-bending, pugnacious, muscular agent was as queer as I knew her to be.
If the character was inspired by a MoC lesbian woman, then really, the entire movie is an allegory for queerness. And I felt it in my bones; as a tomboyish kid, I wholly identified with Gracie’s struggle with wanting to present more masculine or identify with “boyish” things, and how viscerally uncomfortable she felt when in being forced to dress more typically “girly.”
Hopefully, the stars of Stick It, Bring It On, and Cadet Kelly can appear on Ellen too and confirm that these, too, are also canonically queer movies. Welcome to the Lesbian Cinematic Universe, Miss Congeniality.