03/08/2010 AT 8:45 AM ET
On the biggest night of her professional life, Sandra Bullock was typically self-deprecating, saying the Academy Award was never on her radar and urging up-and-comers to just be themselves rather than look up to her.
“I didn’t aspire to this,” the actress, 45, told reporters after winning the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side on Sunday. “I was in awe of it. I admired it. I got to watch it like everyone else did, or present, but it wasn’t something that I said, ‘One day when I get the Oscar.’ ”
Now that that day has arrived, she still doesn’t see herself as an inspiration to younger actors. “Don’t aspire to be in these shoes. Walk in your own,” she said. “Everyone’s unique, and that’s what makes people exciting to watch, I think. So, just savor what you are and not what everyone else wants you to be.”
Bullock wouldn’t reveal what husband Jesse James whispered to her the moment her name was announced, but she jokingly expressed disbelief that he had tears in his eyes during her speech.
“Did he cry? He doesn’t cry,” she said. “He had something in his eye. It’s very dusty from the dance music. I’d never divulge what Jesse says unless he divulges it first. It’s between me and the man.”
Later, at the Academy Awards Governors Ball, James admitted he was “feeling everything” and was incredibly proud of his wife of five years. “It’s 10 [p.m.] now, we usually go to bed around 9, so we’re partying,” he added. “She looks amazing. I like her like this or first thing in the morning, equally as well.”