07/21/2013 AT 11:05 AM ET
For her new sci-fi thriller Gravity, Sandra Bullock, who plays an astronaut adrift in space, had to be strung up in a specially made harness within a cube with her feet strapped together.
Sound claustrophobic? It sure beat the alternative – filming in a plane that simulates zero gravity known as the “vomit comet.”
“I’m deathly afraid of flying” Bullock, who turns 49 July 26, told reporters at Comic-Con in San Diego on Saturday. “Anything they asked me to do after that, I couldn’t care less what it was … I didn’t care [as long as] it wasn’t in the vomit comet.”
The Oscar-winning actress made her debut at the pop culture extravaganza Saturday to promote the film, which costars George Clooney and is directed by Alfonso Cuarén.
Bullock, whose character spends much of the film floating alone in space in complete silence, spent six months training for the role and continued to workout during the production – and it showed on a recent trip to London.
“I just wanted my body to get to a place where my core could accomplish anything,” she said. “I wanted the look of her to be as androgynous as I could get, because in the story she experienced such great loss in life that she just stopped doing anything that reminded her of what she was, which was a mother and woman.”
Now that’s she’s freed up from that cube and has her feet firmly on the ground, Bullock said she’s ready to hit the Comic-Con floor, where fans pick up complimentary swag. “I’ll do anything for free stuff,” she said.