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‘Smile’ Star Sosie Bacon Discusses the Horror Hit’s Wild Ending

[The following story contains spoilers for Smile.]

Smile It may have been a nightmare for Sosie Bacon’s character, but the experience has been a dream come true for the actor.

The Parker Finn-directed horror film was not only Bacon’s first time topping the call sheet, but it was also his first No. 1 movie at the domestic box office, grossing $22.6 million last weekend. . In SmileParamount’s sixth blockbuster of 2022, Bacon’s character, Dr. Rose Cotter, inherits a supernatural curse from a patient who committed suicide in front of her, all while smiling in the most maniacal and disturbing manner.

Ultimately, Rose would not become the “final girl” according to the convention of the genre, and Bacon is more than pleased with the result.

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“I would have been more bummed out if this movie had a happy ending,” says Bacon. the hollywood reporter.

In a recent spoiler conversation with THRBacon also discusses the most horrifying scene that was filmed on set, as well as why Rose is not responsible for her childhood trauma.

So, have you prepared yourself for the likelihood of random strangers flashing you their creepiest smiles for the rest of your life?

(laughs.) Honestly, I don’t care about that. I don’t want anyone yelling at me to smile. Women are told that enough.

I should probably knock on wood to keep from cursing for the rest of your life.

(laughs.) How dare you!

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During the casting process, did everyone have to film their most manic smile?

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No, I don’t think anyone has! I don’t really think [Parker] he just picked people he knew could do it. Kyle [Gallner] has talked about how his smiling scene was the scariest day for him. He told me that he was panicking before he had to crack a smile. I was like, “Kyle, it’s okay.” (laughs.)

During filming, did you and Kyle bond over the fact that you’re both victims of Ghostface in the Scream franchise?

(laughs.) No, we don’t talk about that [at the time]. But we did interviews together the other day, and I was like, “We’re Scream alum!” That’s our alma mater.

Sosie Bacon Smile Still 4 Paramount Publicity EMBED 2022

Sosie Bacon and Jack Sochet star Smile

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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So, Smile It was the first time you were number one on the call list. Did you change the way you do things to set the tone and lead by example for the rest of the cast and crew?

Definitely. Up to this point, I’ve been supporting other actors, who are amazing, and I’ve been able to really observe how they behave and how they lead. The number one sets the tone. So everyone is number one though. So I was excited to take on this job, which was difficult. I think the biggest thing I was successful at was being very committed. I care a lot. I know my lines. So I think it encouraged everyone else to do the same, not that they wouldn’t anyway. So everyone was incredibly engaged and respectful of what we were doing. I definitely didn’t do everything right; I have a lot to learn. (laughs.)

Rose is a workaholic. She finds it hard to let go and decompress at the end of the day, and that’s probably how she distracts herself from this uncontrolled childhood trauma. Did she also have a hard time turning off this character at the end of each day?

Safely! I didn’t really seclude her much. I didn’t keep working because I was exhausted, but my way of numbing myself was reality TV. Sometimes, I couldn’t sleep, so I watched shitty TV until morning. It was my distraction. So yeah, it was hard to lock her up.

I guess he shot out of sequence like most movies. So, before each day of shooting, did you have to chart or gauge where Rose was in the unraveling of her?

Yes, Parker was very helpful with that. I gave him total carte blanche to remind me of what happened before and what’s happening after, with every scene. The beginning in the hospital is when she’s most organized, but we shot that last, so it was up to the hair, makeup and wardrobe to make this corpse look alive. (laughs.) But it was actually helpful because there’s a real heaviness to her at the beginning, and that’s because she has a very dark past.

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As a cat owner, I felt like the Mustache moment was coming a mile away, and it still tore me apart. Do you own a cat right now?

I don’t have a cat at the moment, but I do have dogs and a horse. So I’m an animal lover, and yeah, that was tough. It was very, very sad.

Sosie Bacon Smile Still 1 Paramount Publicity EMBED 2022

Sosie Bacon stars Smile

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Of all the haunting images you saw as Rose, was the scene of Kal Penn and Jack Sochet in the hospital room the craziest of the day?

Strangely not. I don’t think so because fights like that are very technical. The scariest moment for me was probably Caitlin Stasey’s character slashing her throat and then laying on the ground in that position for so long in all the blood. It was just twisted.

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If I were an actor, I would do whatever it takes to get a horror movie. Gender is almost a rite of passage. I also think every actor should be able to do a period piece of some kind. Do you think of your career in those terms and want to tick certain boxes?

We have a lot less say in our careers than people think. I’d love to map out my career, but I’ve taken every job that’s been offered to me before this movie. Those jobs were just the ones I was offered, but I always knew I wanted to star in a horror movie. It was a dream of mine since I started acting. So Smile It’s more like a dream come true. As for a period piece, I was once told I couldn’t touch it and it wouldn’t work for my face. And I was like, “What the hell?” But still a western.

Diving into major spoilers, Rose was in a lose-lose situation. She or she commits suicide or has to kill someone else to break the curse. So even though this entity ultimately won, did she relieve you unless she didn’t resort to murder?

Yes absolutely. God, it’s so hard to think about going there. In the future, I don’t think I would have had a happy life if I had killed someone. So I was glad he didn’t resort to murder.

When her sister (Gillian Zinser’s Holly) referenced tearing down her old house over dinner, I latched onto that line, and when it seemed like Rose really burned down her childhood home, I thought it made perfect sense that the key to beating this Damn Rose had to finally deal with this monument of trauma. But then the rug is pulled out from under us. So were you surprised that in the end you weren’t “a final girl”?

I was bummed out! It’s so sad for her. She entered the house knowing that the monster would eat her or burn the house down, if she could. But at least she wasn’t going to pass [the curse] ok, what was the idea. So that was her value, and he was sadder for her because he didn’t get any of those things. But I think I would have been more bummed out if this movie had a happy ending.

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Yes, he inadvertently passed the curse onto Kyle’s character (Joel), but he did his best to isolate himself from him and his loved ones. She was thinking about other people until the end.

Absolutely. It wasn’t under her control, but that was what she was trying to do.

I understand her sister Holly’s purpose in the story, but when Rose falls through the glass coffee table after the Mustache moment, is there any defense to Holly not running to her aid? For all we know, Rose was bleeding to death.

Yes, I can defend everyone. I can defend your fiancé [Jessie T. Usher] treatment. I can defend her sister. The other thing to remember is that her sister dealt with the same trauma as Rose. It wasn’t all the same, but she was there. So everyone plays a role in your family and everyone has their negative attributes. So I don’t think it should be judged how someone reacted to Rose. Her behavior was erratic and frightening. I have no judgment for anyone, really.

As a child, Rose basically left her sick mother to die. She could have asked for help, but she didn’t. So it’s such a fascinating response to her trauma that she’s dedicated her entire adult life to helping complete strangers.

Yes, I thought that Baby Rose was brave for protecting herself as a child, and the unfortunate thing is that she didn’t really process and understand that she did it to survive. It’s not her fault that her mother died. Children do not have the same tools, and when we grow up, we try to apply the tools that we have as adults to ourselves in childhood. Meaningless. So she wishes she hadn’t been so mad at herself, but she became a therapist largely because of her guilt. As someone who has experienced things, she has a certain understanding that her fiancé Trevor doesn’t have. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have her own trauma, but most of the time, therapists and psychiatrists have gone through things themselves, giving them a deeper level of acceptance.

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Sosie Bacon Smile Still 3 Paramount Publicity EMBED 2022

Sosie Bacon in Smile

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Decades from now, when you remember the Smile experience, which day on set will you most likely remember first?

Oh God, there are so many, but one of the craziest nights was when we drove to this field where his childhood home had been built. That was the night we were going to set it on fire. So we actually set that house on fire, and all these water trucks were there. It was somewhere in New Jersey, and all these union water truck guys were there, along with the fire department. So we set fire to the house, and it was amazing and crazy.

***
Smile is now playing in theaters. This interview was edited for length and clarity..

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