Red Rocket: Simon Rex, Winning Actor–Thanks for Recognizing My Fake Penis

Rocket’ Star Simon Rex Jokes About Prominent Prosthetic After Best Male Lead Win

“Thank you Film Independent for recognizing my fake penis,” Rex said at the awards show on Sunday.

Simon Rex won his first Film Independent Spirit Award for his leading role in  Red Rocket on Sunday and thanked the organization for recognizing his prosthetic worn in Sean Baker’s film.

Recognizing Fake Penis: 

Mark Wahlberg never had a chance to acknowledge his fake penis in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 masterpiece, Boogie Nights.

But Simon Rex, who also won the L.A. Film Critics Best Actor, had the opportunity.

“Ok, what the fuck?” Rex said onstage. “Thank you, Film Independent, for recognizing my fake penis. Where do I begin? Sean Baker… you took a shot on me when I could not get a callback for a Geico commercial.”

He continued: “He decided to give me a shot and I didn’t want to let him down and honestly, my career was in the toilet. I gave up. I moved out to Joshua Tree and said, ‘Maybe it’s all over.’ And all of a sudden I get a phone call out of the blue from Sean and he just gave me a shot.”

Rex explained that they made Red Rocket — about a washed-up porn star who returns to his small hometown in Texas, although no one wants him there — with a very low budget and a 10-person crew during the pandemic. He thanked the cast and crew and gave a shoutout to “every local actor who was a first-time actor, and they blew me away.”

“We were hiding from police. We were hiding from neighbors. I was running down the street butt naked. Like, if this doesn’t embody the spirit of independent film, I don’t know what does,” Rex said. “Thank you. Thank you. I’m truly humbled and honored.”

Kristen Stewart, who is this year’s honorary chair of the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards, introduced the award, taking a moment to honor those fighting in the Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

The other nominees in the best male lead category were Clifton Collins Jr. (Jockey), Frankie Faison (The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain), Michael Greyeyes (Wild Indian) were Udo Kier (Swan Song).

Red Rocket was directed by Baker, who also co-wrote the film with Chris Bergoch. Bree Elrod and Suzanna Son co-starred.

Backstage, Rex doubled down on how shocked he was to win the award.

“I’ve been in shock since Cannes,” Rex said. “I remember when Sean called me afterwards. I knew I was gonna make a good movie because it’s Sean Baker, and I’ve seen his work so I knew we had something special… I had no idea we would be winning accolades across the world, this obviously being the biggest one, all these things are amazing… This is full credit to Sean Baker for his genius and his belief in me and my trust in him.”