If you’re not familiar with Sosie Bacon from her roles in 13 Reason Why or Scream: The Series, you will know her very well soon. Sosie Bacon, daughter of Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, is now starring in Paramount's chilling new film Smile.
Smile centers on Dr. Rose Cotter (Bacon), who has a terrifying interaction with a patient that leads her to hunt down the reason behind strange supernatural happenings around her that have victims smiling nonstop. The film was written and directed by Parker Finn and based on his short film Laura Hasn't Slept.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
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Ahead of the film’s release on September 30th, Sosie spoke with Screen Rant about working with first-time feature director, Parker Finn, why the script appealed to her, and what she learned about herself while diving into her character on Smile.
Sosie Bacon On Smile
Screen Rant: First of all, Sosie, amazing job. You blew me away. I loved this film. It was so fantastic, and the scares... My God.
Sosie Bacon: Yay. Oh, good. I'm so happy you liked it.
What drew you to the story and script?
Sosie Bacon: The script was amazing. It was a real journey that they took you on, but all through her perspective, her eyes, and the world's eyes looking at her. It was just an exciting prospect to play such a fully realized character, and with all of her past; not only under the surface, but you also get to see, it in a way, and she faces it. It's a dream for an actor.
Parker makes his directorial feature debut here, and you wouldn't know it by this film. Can you talk to me a little bit about the collaboration process with Parker Finn and what surprised you the most about his directing style?
Sosie Bacon: Yeah. Collaboration-wise, I feel like that really started on set because I think preparation. When a script is so fully realized like Parker's, there isn't much to collaborate on before. It's my job to bring what I want to bring to the character, but we're not building her together. I think that's something that people think happens, but I don't think it really does. I think it's the actor's job to bring and the director's job to bring, and then on set you come together and just make it work and figure it out. We have to be malleable to what is happening.
In this movie, in particular, the camera moves were tough to act. A lot of it was down the barrel, so it was challenging. It was a great exercise, and it was hard work. I'm kind of like, "Okay, there's a lot of things I could do now after I was able to maybe pull that off."
What was surprising about his directing style was he knows so much about the camera and how he wants everything to look and has imagined it. Really, that was cool to work with someone who's so visually inclined.
What did you want to bring to the character of Rose that wasn't necessarily on the page?
Sosie Bacon: Wow. There was a lot on the page. I wanted to do my best to do it right. But also, I think strength and her genuine care for the people that she works with at the beginning and how absolutely horrifying it is how much it sort of shifts. You're rooting for her because you don't believe that this is a person that is somehow bad or deranged, you know what I mean? She's really trying her best, and I like to find her strength and her fight.
Throughout the course of the film, we go on this journey with Rose, and she loses her support system around them. There's this theme of isolation. Can you talk about that theme a little bit in the film?
Sosie Bacon: Yeah. It's everyone's worst nightmare to have the people that you love and the people around you be like, "No, you're... Are you crazy? This is all in your head, blah, blah, blah." Such a sickening thought, and it's such a difficult thing to grapple with. How do you trust yourself when nobody else trusts you? It's awful. It's hard. I think it's probably uncomfortable to watch. It's uncomfortable to act. I think that I had to try to find some sort of power in her to make these decisions that she makes.
Parker is a big advocate of practical effects, and I think it adds tremendously to the horror genre. Can you talk to me about how the practical effects enhanced this film?
Sosie Bacon: So much. There was always something to react to. I will say that there was a lot of stuff down the barrel so that was the only part. Most of the time you're acting with a tennis ball on a stick, and that wasn't the case. It was like an acid trip or something. I was, "Oh my God. Then, there's really a monster there and then..." It's truly cool because it gives a really eerie feeling to both the set and the movie.
What did you learn about yourself through playing Rose?
Sosie Bacon: Oh my gosh, wow. A lot. A lot. I'll just push it. Keep going, keep going, whatever. I don't know. What did I learn? Oh my gosh, I learned so much.
I learned that acting by yourself is tough, and that I do really love to have other actors and community and people around, but that it does inform what you're seeing on screen is the isolation.
Ask me in 20 years.
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
Check out our other interview with Smile director Parker Finn as well.