Suzanna Son on Her Breakout Role Opposite Simon Rex in ‘Red Rocket ‘

Suzanna Son, 26, from Washington State, has received considerable acclaim – and best supporting actress Oscar – since the Cannes Film Festival in July for her Lolita-like performance “Strawberry,” a high school students working on a shopping donut and getting involved with a porn star (Simon Rex), in Sean Baker’s Red rocket. Son has never appeared in a feature film before, but CHEAPDavid Rooney, in his review of the film, called her “incandescent”. It’s her, never more so in NSYNC’s rendition of “Bye Bye Bye” that will forever change the way people think about that tune. Here, Son reflects on his journey to the edge of a star.

What is it like when many people catch up Red rocket at film festivals on the way to release on December 10?

When I go to festivals, I’m in this little bubble where people know who I am and they recognize me and it’s crazy. I felt famous for a second, and that scared me.

Where were you born and raised? And what do your people do for a living?

I was born in Hamilton, Montana, but I grew up in Washington state, moving around on different farms with my mother, who worked in the restaurant business.

When you grow up, what do you want to do with your life?

I attended Cornish College of the Arts and majored in classical music first, so I sang a lot of Italian operas and arias and immersed myself in music theory. I like music, but I want to hear the kids in the hallway watching musicals theaterand they would dance and ballet, and I said, “Well, that could be mine. “

When did you move to LA?

I didn’t graduate from college; I left like Brendan Fraser did – he went to the same university. My heart was still really interested in dance, and I hadn’t seen any in the world, so I went to New Zealand and studied Maori dance – I hadn’t worn shoes for six months. Then I went back to Seattle and realized, “God, there’s not much here for me, and I like sunshine, so let’s go to LA.” I don’t have any auditions or management or directing. I moved on July 4th, three or four years ago. After that, I tried so hard to get an audition for anything, but it was hard when no one knew who you were, so I mostly just hung around and taught the little kids how to swim.

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How did Sean Baker get to know you?

I’ve just moved to LA – I’ve only been there for nine or 10 days – and I want to go to the cinema to see it He won’t go very far. I’ve never been downtown, and I’m sitting outside admiring this Botox – it’s neon lights – and holding my friend’s cigarette, wearing a red dress, pouting at this Botox center. Sean came up to me and said, “Hey, my name is Sean Baker.” I said, “Oh, my God, Florida Project? Huge fans! ” He said, “Are you an actor? Because I’m working on something right now in Vancouver. I don’t know if it’s right for you, but we’d love to save your information for a future project. We really like your look. He handed me a piece of paper with his email, which I have to this day.

But was it two years ago when you heard from him?

Right. I went on a date with this young man and he said, “What do you want to see on TV tonight?” I was like, “Oh, we can watch Florida Project again? I was thinking about Sean. ” And he said, “It’s been two and a half years since you heard from him. I think you should start auditioning for other things. Start putting your eggs in another basket.” And I said , “God, you were probably right. It probably won’t happen. ” And then eight o’clock I opened my phone and got a text from Sean asking me to audition. I mean, I get goosebumps talking about it. Three days later I was in a cast.

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How do you know who Strawberry is?

I was just focusing on the script and Sean told me to watch Goldie Hawn in Sugarland Express.

Strawberry is understood to be 17 years old, the age of consent in Texas. You look so young, but in reality, 26…

I always look so young. When I learned to drive, I got a car seat because I wasn’t 80 pounds yet. It used to piss me off – I was such a young, short, angry person. Like, I’ll be given a kids menu and just throw one that fits. But now I think it’s a stroke of luck. I was like, “I treaty I’m 19 years old! “

What is the scariest part of the job?

Singing scene. That was harder than any sex scene – even though it was my first day too, because we were only in that house for a day, so we needed to do all the shooting. . What better way to break the ice with Simon [Rex, her co-star] more, “Hey, let’s close the sex scene at seven in the morning!”

You arrive at the Cannes premiere on crutches. What happened?

I was sent a secret link to see Red rocket. I was alone in my house, and then there was that scene that we were talking about, the singing scene, and I thought, “I need to take a break from this to get my energy back, dance a little in the kitchen. , to get rid of it.” I started shaking it off, and I shook it too much, because I broke my fifth ankle and I broke my ankle. I just jumped up and it squirmed and made horrible sounds! I threw it on the carpet, but I kept watching the movie because I needed to see the scene. And then I didn’t walk for 80 days.

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How does it feel to see your work in such a critically acclaimed film?

It’s like your dreams come true, man. I do not know. It feels unreal. It makes me want to call my mom, hug my family and pray to God or something. Feeling great.

This story first appeared in the November 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

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