Changing the way people view beauty pageants. Hit 2000 film Miss Congeniality follows FBI agent Gracie (Sandra Bullock) as she goes undercover at a beauty pageant in order to prove herself at work to her male counterparts (played by Benjamin Bratt and Ernie Hudson).
Since she’s been a tomboy her whole life, the head of the pageant, Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen), enlists expert Victor Melling (Michael Caine) to get Gracie ready for competition through quite an intense makeover process. Throughout the movie, the cop forms unexpected friendships, romances and is shocked when she’s able to uncover the life-threatening events happening at the pageant.
In 2000, Ellen DeGeneres revealed in an interview that the rom-com was actually based on her.
“When I was getting ready to cohost the Emmys, the writer saw me [on TV] learning how to walk in a dress and heels,” she shared with Parade magazine at the time. “My stylist at the time — a man — was teaching me, and it was hilarious. The Miss Congeniality writer saw it and thought it was brilliant.”
Despite it being based on the TV host, Bullock also closely related to Grace, later admitting that doing the combat scenes — and she did many of her own stunts — were easier than the pageant scenes. Additionally, she told Entertainment Tonight that she tried to cut the swimsuit scene.
“That was a huge bone of contention for me. I was trying to get it written out so many times,” the Speed actress shared. ‘It’s in the script. We already shot it—outside in San Antonio.”
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