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“Miss Congeniality” is a 2000 comedy film directed by Donald Petrie. The story follows Gracie Hart, an unconventional FBI agent with a tough demeanor who is tasked with going undercover as a contestant in the Miss United States beauty pageant to fight a potential terrorist threat. Gracie must navigate the world of evening gowns, talent competitions and etiquette, all while keeping her true identity a secret.

Sandra Bullock portrayed Gracie Hart, the FBI agent turned beauty pageant contestant. Benjamin Bratt played Eric Matthews, Gracie’s colleague and love interest. Michael Caine portrayed Victor Melling, the pageant coach who transforms Gracie into a beauty queen. Candice Bergen played Kathy Morningside, the stern pageant organizer.

Filming Locations:

  • Although the film was primarily filmed in San Antonio and Las Vegas, there are some scenes that were shot in New York. Gracie and Victor dined at the famous St. Regis hotel on 55th street in the restaurant Lespinasse, which is no longer working.
  • The Las Vegas Convention Center serves as the location for various Miss United States pageant events and activities. This real-world convention center provided a suitable backdrop for the fictional pageant.
  • While in San Antonio, the film featured scenes along the picturesque San Antonio River Walk. This famous urban waterway offered a scenic backdrop for some of the film’s moments.

Fun Facts:

  • Sandra Bullock went through extensive training to prepare for her role, including self-defense classes, singing lessons and even learning how to walk in high heels.
  • Michael Caine, who played Gracie’s pageant coach Victor Melling, was a real-life mentor to Sandra Bullock during filming, offering advice on acting and presence.
  • Several former Miss USA winners made cameo appearances in the film, adding authenticity to the pageant scenes.
  • The success of “Miss Congeniality” led to a sequel, “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous”, where Sandra Bullock reprised her role as Gracie Hart.