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Smile Stars Sosie Bacon And Kyle Gallner Discuss Their Characters' Nuances In The Film - Exclusive Interview

Paramount Pictures' newest horror film, "Smile," has finally arrived in theaters, and it's a toothy tribute to terror from the first frame to the last. The film stars Sosie Bacon as Dr. Rose Cotter, a therapist trying to overcome her own tragic past by aiding others. This is complicated, of course, when she receives a terrified patient who swears something no one else can see is haunting her. It's smiling at her, and she doesn't have long to live. Turns out she's right, and Dr. Rose has to find a way to escape the entity's influence with the help of her police officer ex Joel (Kyle Gallner). For horror fans, it's likely to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

We sat down to interview the cast of the frightening new film to dig a little deeper into the sure-to-be spooky season classic. In the interview, Sosie Bacon explained why she's glad she wasn't asked to showcase her smile and her secret to staying terrified on the silver screen, and Kyle Gallner detailed his character's sequel-ready skills.

Sosie Bacon didn't need to audition her smile

So many of the performers in this film need real, genuinely creepy smiles on top of their performances. Sosie, what was your casting process like? Most importantly, did they test your smile?

Sosie Bacon: I had a Zoom meeting with [writer and director] Parker [Finn]. This is the first job in my life that I haven't had seven auditions for ... I didn't actually audition for it, which was a miracle. He met me on Zoom and was like, "She can definitely accomplish this." I don't know what kind of energy I gave out.

Kyle Gallner: ... thank you?

Bacon: [laughs] ... Thank you. I don't know; that was kind of nice. We had a lot of follow-up conversations, and I was actually choosing between two things at that time. I had auditioned for the other one, and I wanted to take on this one because it was such a hefty role with so much history sprinkled in between, and the relationships were super specific. It was a really cool thing for me to sink my teeth into. 

And no, I did not audition my smile. I don't know, that might have hindered ... My smile's a bit too across and not enough up. I think that was good that I didn't show it.

Joel is ride-or-die for Dr. Rose Cotter

Kyle, Joel's an interesting character. He goes through such a journey in the film, largely propelled through his own investigations. I wanted you to comment on his journey a bit, and if you think his investigations could help him get to the bottom of, say, a sequel.

Gallner: Oh, wouldn't that be interesting? I definitely think his profession could help in some capacity. He clearly has access to information that most people don't. His journey is strictly for Rose ... There's a part of him that, once he gets the bug in his head, he can't let it go. There is that part of him that's like, "I'm going to dig further into this," but really, he's doing everything for Rose.

There's still definitely an emotional connection there. He definitely still has feelings for Rose, so when she comes to him and needs his help, there's a part of him that can't let it go. Whether it's his hero complex, or whatever it is, he's ride-or-die with her. Whatever she comes to, he's going to help her. If she says she's got a problem, he's like, "Okay, I'll help you out, let's figure this out."

Sosie, once it gets going, Rose spends essentially the entire rest of the film in terror. What was your process of getting into character like? What was your process like to get into that headspace?

Bacon: It was the same as other roles. I had a lot more help on this one only because the script was such a good blueprint for her life, so I didn't have to make everything up. Also, it was grounded in relationships along the way that were a great indicator of what else was going on with her, so I had help.

My process? I don't know. You do everything that you can, and then five things actually help. You just see what happens.

"Smile" is now playing in theaters.

This interview was edited for clarity.