Sandra Bullock, Entertainment Weekly, EW, Cover

Sandra Bullock is one of the most likable, bankable stars in Hollywood, but even she has room for improvement. Recently named Entertainment Weekly's Entertainer of the Year, the 49-year-old actress tells the magazine's Dec. 6 issue that she's her own toughest critic.

Bullock's latest movie, Gravity, has earned more than $536 million to date—not to mention plenty of Oscar buzz for the single mom. Yet in spite of her success, the actress has a tough time acknowledging her strong presence onscreen. "I nitpick every aspect of my performance. I'm an actress! We're vain, narcissistic creatures. You look at yourself at 17 feet and you're going to be riddled with insecurity," Bullock says. "Maybe when I'm old and go back to my youth, I'll go back and say, 'Oh, look at her, bless her heart.'"

"I'm proud of the experiences I had on that movie," she continues. "I'm proud that when [director Alfonso Cuarón] said, 'Okay, you're going to sit at the bottom of a tank 35 feet below,' I said, 'Okay, let's go down there and sit all day.' I'm really proud that I and those moments where I became fearless because I've never felt fearless before."

2013 has been a big year for Bullock, whose other movie, The Heat, turned out to be a summer blockbuster. She played the comedic foil to Melissa McCarthy's oddball cop, which required America's Sweetheart to lose her vanity. "Ego is everywhere and you always have to put it in check. I do different comedy than Melissa's. Her style is...I mean, it comes out of her mouth and you gotta back up. And once I realized that that drove the film, I had to step back," Bullock says. "Otherwise I would have been fighting for something that would've ended up on the cutting-room floor."

"They needed a pseudo-straight person, and I became that," she adds. "It wasn't what I was hoping for, but the end result was the success of the film and people liking us together. The movie is exactly what it's supposed to be—it's about friendships and two people being awkward and funny and not caring what anybody else thought about them."

Bullock is adamant that she doesn't want to do a sequel, but she would love to work with McCarthy again. "We always talk, like, what if we do a road trip that's a silent film?" she laughs. "I know I came out of that movie with a friend for life."

For many moviegoers, Bullock feels like their lifelong friend, too.

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