Sandra Bullock Says 'Bird Box' Depicts a New Kind of "Warrior" Mother

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
From left: Sandra Bullock, Susanne Bier and Trevante Rhodes

"I think it finally shows mothers and what they're capable of and what they are," Bullock told The Hollywood Reporter at a special screening of the film Monday in New York.

Trapped in a world overtaken by a mysterious force, Sandra Bullock stars as an unconventional new mother in Netflix’s Bird Box, directed by Susanne Bier (A Better World, The Night Manager).

Bullock plays Malorie, a coarse woman forced to protect her children in a post-apocalyptic world — a role the actress says casts a new kind of mother figure onscreen.

“I think it finally shows mothers and what they’re capable of and what they are,” Bullock told The Hollywood Reporter at the film’s New York screening on Monday, “Not how we’ve depicted them in stories and movies up to this point.”

As Malorie embarks on a harrowing journey in search of a safe haven, the film, based on a novel by Josh Malerman
, skips back and forth in time to show the first days of the chaos that decimates the world’s population.

When a mysterious force causes mass suicides throughout the world, Malorie joins an unlikely group of survivors, played by John Malkovich, Danielle Macdonald, Trevante Rhodes, Lil Rel Howery, Jacki Weaver, BD Wong, Rosa Salazar and Colson Baker. The cast also includes Sarah Paulson and Tom Hollander.

Bier said she first came across the script, written by Eric Heisserer
, seven years ago, but it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that she took interest in Malorie’s story.

The Academy Award-winning director said part of what fascinated her about the role was Malorie’s unconventional heroic nature.

“It’s actually a really complicated, unconventional, contemporary female hero,” Bier told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think a lot of women are going to relate to that.”

Macdonald, who plays a young, pregnant survivor, said the film is ultimately about the importance of family.

“It was just that love for this unborn child. I understand love, so it was really just about having that for this thing that you don’t even know yet,” said Macdonald, whose also starred in Netflix’s Dumplin’, which was released earlier this month.

Bullock said her protagonist reflects mothers around the world, many of whom risk their lives every day to ensure the safety of their children.

“If we really look outside of our country, or if you just look into another neighborhood, you see warriors that are women that have to fight for their children’s lives, protect their children,” said Bullock, who also served as executive producer on the pic. “I just don’t think we’ve depicted women for the strengths that they have properly onscreen yet.”

Bird Box is set to bow Dec. 21 on Netflix.