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Doin’ it Their Own Way: The Not so Hollywood Story of Jesse James and Sandra Bullock

The public can have strange demands.  They often support actors and actresses getting married and are endlessly fascinated by the course of a celebrity marriage.  After all, who isn’t fascinated about the lives of beautiful people.  This has been true for people since they’ve been in high school and continues to their interest in modern celebrity culture.  However, there are some times in which a celebrity couple would emerge that would leave people scratching their heads and wondering how these two could have even met.  In some cases, these unorthodox celebrity couples turn into a celebrated celebrity marriage.

When you think of actresses, you tend to narrow down the choices of potential suitors.  A fellow actor?  Sure.  A wealthy movie producer or director?  Definitely.  A benevolent manager?  Why not.  An accomplished professional athlete?  Why that’s practically as American as American pie.  A professional motorcycle builder?  What, never!

Well this union of two seemingly polar worlds has come true in the celebrity marriage between Sandra Bullock and Jesse James.  Sandra Bullock rose to prominence in the 1990s with her flare for physical comedy to become one of the biggest actresses at the end of the century.  Jesse James, on the other hand, created his own success by capitalizing on the reality TV boom.  A legend within his own field, it was Jesse James’ prickly personality and his undeniable genius at creating amazing custom-made motorcycles that helped made him a star in his own right.

Despite being well known in his own right, many people found it surprising that the rugged but seemingly untamed Jesse James would steal the heart of a woman who had been slowly creating a reputation as being one of America’s sweetheart.  However, once you look behind the public perceptions of these two striking figures, you will be able to see that this celebrity marriage actually makes quiet a bit of sense.

Before we examine the not quiet made for Hollywood marriage between Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, we have to first look at the private lives that these two lived before intertwining into one successful union.  First we will take a look behind the woman in all of those Sandra Bullock Movies: aka. Sandra Bullock.

Born on July 26, 1964 in Arlington County, Virginia, Sandra Annette Bullock was born into an arts loving family.  Although her maternal grandfather was literally a rocket scientist, Sandra Bullock quickly fell in love with the arts.  This may be due to her father, John Bullock, working part time as a vocal coach as well as a Pentagon contractor and also her mother, Helga Meyer’s career as a German opera singer.  Early on in her childhood, Bullock followed her mother’s passion by performing in the childrens choir at the Staatstheater Nurnberg opera.  Often traveling throughout Germany and other parts of Europe with her mother, as her mother toured throughout the continent, Sandra Bullock quickly felt a passion for the arts.  She had studied ballet and vocal arts during her childhood and thanks to her childhood is also fluent in German.

However, when Bullock was 12 years old, her family returned to America, where they stayed in the nation’s capital – Washington D.C.  Sandra Bullock attended Washington-Lee High School where she excelled as a cheerleader showed off her adorably likeability when she was awarded, “The Most Likely to Brighten Your Day.”  After she finished high school, Bullock attended East Carolina University, where she found that she couldn’t shake off her dreams of being an actress.

Leaving East Carolina University during her senior year, Sandra Bullock boldly moved to Los Angeles where she struggled early on with her career.  Big breaks such as landing the lead role in the television remake of Working Girl led to disappointments like when that show would be cancelled.  However, with her girl next door beauty and her adorable screen persona, Sandra Bullock would first gain recognition in a supporting role in the Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes 1993 action thriller, Demolition Man.

The next year is when Sandra Bullock would catapult from fresh face to keep your eye on to fast rising Hollywood star.  With her impressive performance in Demolition Man, Sandra Bullock soon gained one of the leading roles in the movie, Speed, which also helped to launch the career of Keanu Reeves.  With its simple premise of having to keep a bus going at 50 miles per hour, audience couldn’t get enough of the plucky charm and the non-threatening beauty of Sandra Bullock.  After so many years of struggling, Sandra Bullock had finally established herself as a Hollywood star.

In the next few years, Sandra Bullock would have her share of successes (While You Were Sleeping, A Time to Kill, Miss Congeniality) and her share of failures (Two if by Sea, Forces of Nature, Speed 2: Cruise Control).  Through it all, Bullock managed to maintain a level of heightened celebrity.  People Magazine selected her as one of its 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996 and 1999.  Her popularity with the public can also be seen by the fact that she won three People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Actress in a Movie in four years between 1996 and 1999.  She is attempting to develop a reputation for being a serious actress by taking on challenging roles such as her recent appearance in the Academy Award winning movie, Crash.

Despite having established herself as one of the most bankable actresses in Hollywood today and as a versatile actress, Sandra Bullock continued to find different ways to widen her success.  She has formed her own production company, Fortis Films, and won the 2002 Raul Julia Award for Excellence for her role as executive producer of The George Lopez Show.  Bullock has also been recognized for her charitable endeavors, particularly when she donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist in the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund and also to assist the organization after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.

Despite being incredibly successful as an actress, as a celebrity, and as an entrepreneur, the one part of life that Sandra Bullock seemed unlucky in was in love.  Early on in her career, Sandra Bullock was engaged to her Love Potion No. 9 co-star, Tate Donavan.  However, despite high profile romances with hot actors like Ryan Gosling and Matthew McConaughey, as well as Hall of Fame quarterback, Troy Aikman, Bullock didn’t seem like she had found anybody that seemed like a good fit.  That all changed in the most unlikely of scenarios – when she was trying to arrange for the perfect Christmas present for her ten-year old godson.

Sandra Bullock’s godson was like your typical ten year old boy, he loved cars and bikes.  Of course, if you are a person who loves cars and bikes, you undoubtedly would have caught the highly popular reality TV series, Monster Garage.  On that show, the CEO of West Coast Choppers, Jesse James, supervised a crew of five individuals who were experts at customizing cars.  The challenge that was posed on Monster Garage was for these teams to transform a stock car into something even more special, like a wood chipper or a custom car.  The teams had seven days to complete the construction of a “monster vehicle,” in which James would then test out to see if it had met his standards.

The popular automotive show ran from 2002 until 2006 and helped make Jesse James into a star.  However, even disregarding his star making turn as host of Monster Garage, Jesse James has always had the personality and charisma of a star.  The CEO of the highly respected, West Coast Choppers, Jesse James has established an excellent reputation within the automotive world.  Blessed with a great name, Jesse Gregory James is actually related in some way to Jesse James the outlaw.  The name is so great that a young man from Los Angeles would adopt the name Jesse James Hollywood and become the youngest person ever to appear on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list.  The story of Jesse James Hollywood can be seen in the Justin Timberlake movie, “Alpha Dog.”

However, back to the Life of Jesse James.  Born on April 19, 1969 in Lynwood, California, Jesse James lived a very typical West Coast life.  He grew up in Long Beach, California and would go on to attend University of California, Riverside in Riverside, California.  A versatile individual, Jesse James is also an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.  He would have two children with his first wife, Karla, and work to establish the reputation of West Coast Choppers.

Jesse James would first gain prominence when he appeared on the Discovery Channel special, Motorcycle Mania I and II.  This appearance in these specials helped West Coast Choppers expand from its cult-like following and enter the mainstream.  Celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Keanu Reeves, and Kid Rock bought custom motorcycles built by West Coast Choppers.  This heightened reputation led to the development of Monster Garage.  During this time, Jesse James would marry again to former Penthouse model and porn star, Janine Lindemulder, in 2002.  However, their marriage would end a year later.

With his reputation for being one of the top custom motorcycle builders in America, it isn’t surprising to learn that many celebrities wanted to associate with Jesse James.  However, even he must have been surprised when he received a request from Sandra Bullock to arrange a tour of the Monster Garage set for her god son.  James obviously granted Bullock this request and this is how this celebrity couple would first meet.

Although the last thing that these two expected from this initial meeting was finding the person that they would marry, both Sandra Bullock and Jesse James were obviously struck by the other.  Apparently the two stayed in contact through letters before they began dating.  On July 16, 2005, Jesse James and Sandra Bullock would marry to complete a relationship that does not follow the typical Hollywood romance script at all!