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How Sosie Bacon Was Able To Occupy A Space Of Perpetual Terror In Smile - Exclusive

Sosie Bacon had a real challenge in her box office-topping new horror outing, "Smile." In the film, Bacon plays Dr. Rose Cotter, a therapist who finds herself under assault from a mysterious entity that passes from host to host, tormenting its victims until they smile and die and it moves on. As is the case with many a horror protagonist, she has to investigate what's happening against all odds to hopefully save her own skin. With such a dedicated, mysterious, and powerful foe, Dr. Cotter undoubtedly finds herself with little reprieve in the film's nearly two-hour runtime.

The wall-to-wall scares of "Smile" make for one terrifying cinematic experience, and it's a thoroughly unsettling film from frame one until the end. A side consequence of such a continuously frightening film, of course, is that poor Dr. Rose spends almost the entirety of its runtime in abject terror once "Smile" truly gets going. From a performer's standpoint, that means star Sosie Bacon had to spend many of the film's scenes in some degree of perpetual fright. It's surely a challenge for any performer. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Sosie Bacon reveals her secret for landing such an ever-terrified role.

A Rose by any other name would still be terrified in Smile

For Sosie Bacon, getting into the head of Dr. Rose Cotter was not much different from doing so for any other character she's played. "It was the same as other roles," she explains, though she clarifies, "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." The extensive background made getting into Dr. Cotter's head easier despite the emotional highs required. 

Bacon also benefitted from her character's well-developed interpersonal interactions. As she explains in the interview, her character development was also "grounded in relationships along the way that were a great indicator of what else was going on with her, so I had help" in hitting those heightened character notes. With Dr. Rose so entrenched in a detailed backstory and set of well-defined relationships, digging deep into her character's head proved possible. 

As for Bacon's process of actually situating herself in that headspace, that involved a bit of trial and error. "My process?" Bacon asks. "I don't know. You do everything that you can, and then five things actually help. You just see what happens." It's interesting that such a continually intense performance involved such an unplanned, organic approach, but the result is a highly memorable horror outing and a lead performance that audiences won't soon forget.

"Smile" is now playing in theaters.