Jul. 15—It's official: Topeka native Bree Elrod has become a movie star.
The 1996 Topeka High School graduate and Simon Rex, her co-star in a small, independent film called "Red Rocket," walked the red carpet Wednesday at the premiere of that movie during the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France.
The audience gave the film a five-minute standing ovation, according to Yahoo Entertainment.
"Red Rocket" was one of 24 films picked worldwide to compete in this year's prestigious Cannes festival.
"Hello Cannes," Bree Elrod wrote Wednesday on her personal Facebook page.
Only two American films were part of the lineup for that event, where awards will be announced when it concludes Saturday, said Bree Elrod's mother, Washburn Law School professor Linda Elrod.
Linda Elrod said she watched by live feed Wednesday morning as her daughter walked the red carpet wearing a yellow dress.
"It was a pretty exciting morning," she said.
"Red Rocket" stars the 46-year-old Rex, a former MTV VJ, as Mikey Saber, a fast-talking hustler and washed-up porn star who returns to his hometown of Texas City, Texas, even though no one there really wants him back.
Bree Elrod plays Saber's estranged wife, who formerly was his leading lady in pornographic movies but now has a drug problem and lives with her mother in Texas City.
"Red Rocket" also stars actress Suzanna Son, who portrays a 17-year-old Saber sees as potentially being his ticket to getting back into the porn business.
The film as of Thursday morning had 13 reviews, all positive, on the "Rotten Tomatoes" website.
Bree Elrod was described as being "terrific" in a review in the Hollywood Reporter.
As Bree Elrod walked the red carpet Wednesday at Cannes, an interviewer noted that "Red Rocket" takes place just prior to Donald Trump's election as president in 2016 and asked what she thought the film said about pre-Trump America.
She replied, "Everyone has to figure out for themselves what it means to them."
Bree Elrod's older brother, actor and fellow Topeka High alumnus Carson Elrod, wrote last month on his personal Facebook page that he could not be more happy and proud of her.
"Bree, ride this Red Rocket to Cannes and beyond!!!" he wrote.
After graduating from Topeka High, Bree Elrod earned a bachelor's degree in 2000 from Galesburg, Ill.-based Knox College and received her master's of fine arts degree in acting in 2003 from New York University.
Bree Elrod's career has since included "a lot of regional theater," Linda Elrod said.
She said one highlight of her daughter's career was her performance in 2006 in an off-Broadway, one-woman show directed by the late British actor Alan Rickman called "My Name is Rachel Corrie."
Corrie was a 23-year-old activist from Olympia, Wash., who died in March 2003 in Gaza when struck by an Israeli bulldozer as she and other international protesters tried to prevent Israelis from demolishing a Palestinian home.
A Washington Post review of the play described Bree Elrod as being "appealing" and "an authentic stand-in for Corrie."
Carson Elrod's Facebook post last month said he felt excited when he learned last year that his sister would be working in "Red Rocket" for independent filmmaker Sean Baker.
Baker has been praised for his movie-making techniques while creating independent works that include the feature films "Starlet," "Tangerine" and "The Florida Project."
He was also one of the original creators of the Fox/IFC puppet sitcom "Greg the Bunny."
Carson Elrod described himself as being "hypervigilant," and indicated he consequently felt concerned when Bree Elrod took part in last year's shooting of "Red Rocket" in rural Texas during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Bree Elrod "loved every second of it," while the protocols in place kept the cast and crew safe, Carson Elrod wrote.
"Bree's now officially a (expletive) movie star who's going to be walking the red carpet in the French Riviera in July," he wrote.
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