It’s a title you won’t hear during next week’s Oscars ceremony, but for many critics, Red Rocket was one of the year’s most compelling films.
And that’s largely thanks to a bravura performance from star Simon Rex.
But while Rex may have been snubbed by the Academy, we learned this week that the actor is the recipient of an honor that’s far more impressive than an Oscar.
And Rex’s achievement is all the more extraordinary because it’s based on something even more important than talent — character.
In order to understand this story, we need to go all the way back to 2005, when Rex was starring on a UPN sitcom called Cuts.
The show didn’t last long, but it was here that Simon would make the acquaintance of a young actress who would soon become one of the most famous people on the planet.
Future Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle appeared in a small role on the show’s fifth episode.
This was years before Suits, and the 24-year-old was probably very excited about landing a role on a primetime series.
She could never have predicted, of course, that her short time on the Cuts set would nearly ignite a major controversy more than a decade later.
When Meghan started dating Prince Harry back in 2016, British gossip outlets went all out digging up dirt from Meghan’s time as an actress.
And when they discovered that her past was disappointingly scandal-free, they simply made stuff up.
Rex recently won an Independent Spirit Award for his work in Red Rocket, and a follow-up piece in UK tabloid The Guardian contained the following tidbit:
"Several UK tabloids offered him $70,000 to claim he had slept with Markle, with whom he appeared in a 2005 episode of the sitcom Cuts; their off-screen interactions never got further than one platonic lunch."
“I was broke as f-ck! I really needed the money. But I’ll be on food stamps before I do that," Simon told the outlet.
He added Meghan wrote him a thank you letter, recalling;
“She said: ‘It’s nice to know there are still good people.’”
Rex retweeted a link to the article today, adding:
"This is true. And I framed the thank you letter she wrote me. She has very nice penmanship btw."
Rex hasn’t shared the full text of the letter publicly, but he did divulge one quote from Meghan’s missive:
"It’s nice to know there are still good people," the Duchess wrote.
It’s no secret that Meghan has been the favorite victim of the British press from the moment she started dating Harry.
The Sussexes have sued tabloids and paparazzi and won, but it doesn’t look as though the press will be easing up on them anytime soon.
A desire to distance themselves from the UK media was reportedly a factor in the couple’s decision to relocate to Southern California back in 2020.
Unfortunately, Harry and Meghan have yet to find the privacy they seek.
Shortly after their arrival in Santa Barbara, they were forced to sue a photographer who snapped a picture their son Archie by aiming a telephoto lens through the window of their home.
With horror stories like that, it’s no wonder that Meghan appreciates stand-up behavior like Simon’s!