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Today Is the Perfect Date To Reveal 25 Secrets About Miss Congeniality

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E! Looks Back at Sandra Bullock in 1990!

It’s somehow been more than 20 years since Sandra Bullock swapped her FBI badge and holster for a sash and tiara in Miss Congeniality.

Hitting theaters for the first time in December 2000, the action-comedy starred Sandra as FBI Special Agent Gracie Hart alongside instantly iconic characters played by Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson and Candice Bergen. To celebrate two decades of pageantry and crowns, the film’s director, Donald Petrie, shared exclusive secrets with E! News about the cult-classic movie.

During his in-depth chat with E! News in 2020, the director—who also counts Mystic Pizza, Grumpy Old Men and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days among his credits—revealed why he thinks Sandra might still be mad at him, which Crash actor almost landed the male lead and which Gilmore Girls standout ended up on the cutting-room floor. Plus, did you know a Real Housewives star makes a tiny, early-career appearance?

Before you declare today to be the perfect date, read on to check out all 25 of the director’s secrets—including a surprising fact about why April 25th was chosen as the ideal day.

Ron Batzdorff/Castle Rock/Fortis/Kobal/Shutterstock

1. A New Director to the Rescue

Donald Petrie stepped in at the last minute, replacing the previous director just seven weeks prior to the start of filming. Sandra Bullock and Michael Caine were already cast, and that was all he needed to know before saying yes. “I have no idea, frankly, why he left the project,” Donald told E!

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