Watch: Simon Rex Admits to Wearing Fake Appendage in 'Red Rocket' During Spirit Award Speech

Thursday March 10, 2022

There was talk prior to the Oscar nominations being announced that Simon Rex might get a Best Actor nod for his dynamic performance in Sean Baker's "Red Rocket." But it wasn't to be, though Simon did win the Best Male Lead Performance at the Independent Spirit Awards for his role as a washed-up porn star who returns to his Texas roots to start over, only to self-sabotage.

But while Rex's performance has a sense of authenticity — along with Baker's film itself which evocatively captures its seedy settings — what may not be real is his penis, which is seen numerous times in the film. "That dick does not look natural, unfortunately," writes The Sword. "This is a prosthetic which is surprising considering who Simon Rex seems to be — and that his character is a pornstar. Dude, go for it! Be authentically porny and show that penis."

Even Simon joked about the fake penis in his Independent Spirit Award speech. "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."

He ended with: "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."

As for the fake penis, a comment on The Sword pointed out a continuity error between fiction and real-life: "He's Jewish, so unless he renounced his faith and took the time to regrow his foreskin, that is definitely be a fake schlong," writes a reader named ATUNGNUBOY.

To see more of Rex in the film follow this link at Mr. man.com.

Vulture reports Rex got the role in "Red Rocket" Rex got the role in "Red Rocket" when writer/director Baker reached out to him. It came at the right moment — he had retreated to the desert to live after being exhausted by LA and the pandemic. At 18 he pursued modeling, at 19 he was hired by a LA porn company to do a jerk-off video, which he did a number. He was discovered by a casting director and was soon modeling in Milan for such designers as Tommy Hilfinger,  Calvin Klein Inc, Versace, and Levi's. In 1995 he became a VH1 veejay, which he did for three years until his porn past came to haunt him. As an actor, he appeared on such shows as "Jack and Jill," "Felicity," "Summerland," and "Baywatch;" and the lead role in three films in the "Scary Movie" franchise. He is also a rapper under the name of Dirt Nasty.

But having turned 40, Rex went through an identity crisis. "There's something sad about the old rock star trying to be young and sexy," he says. "You can't age gracefully into that, at least not as Dirt Nasty." 

"Red Rocket" was also a perfect fit for the 47-year old. "For many reasons, Rex was the only man in Hollywood who could have played the part, so it's appropriate that Red Rocket has given him a reset button too," .

"Rex is not wrong to think 'Red Rocket' could be that vehicle for him," Vulture continues. "Like all the best star turns, his performance is a mix of things we already knew about him and things we had no idea he could do. Mikey is a vision of early-aughts raunch culture grown desperate in middle age, but his ugliness is always masked with a twinge of humor. In the film's most painful scene, he reveals his true self in a fumbling, inarticulate monologue. The horrible awkwardness of it, the way it sinks into your stomach, then keeps going? That's all Rex."

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As for the full-frontal, it is not as if Rex hadn't been there before. Back in the early 1990s at the urging of his then girlfriend, Rex did solo videos for gay-porn impresario Brad Posey. When the tapes were later released, Rex was at MTV, but, contrary to rumors, he was not released from as a veejay because of them. Rather due to poor ratings. Today, Vulture reports, he is ambivalent about the videos, which did cost him jobs and branded him a porn performer. "Sometimes Rex will say it was 30 years ago and any ill feelings have been worn away by time. Other times, he admits he doesn't love the way his brush with porn has continued to define him. Girlfriends sometimes used it against him in fights. It was the thing most tabloids led with."

"I'm not stupid. I'll see people be like, 'Oh, you're the guy from ...' And they get out their phone and they fucking Google me and then they laugh at me," he said.