The co-star of several hit movies such as 2004's "Alexander" and "Sin City" has been rising to stardom rapidly. New York-born and bred actress Rosario Dawson made her screen debut in Larry Clark's controversial Kids (1995). Literally picked off the street to play Ruby, one of the film's titular teens, Dawson -- who is of Puerto Rican, Cuban, Black, Irish, and Native American heritage -- had never acted before being cast in the film. Following Kids, she next appeared in Spike Lee's He Got Game (1998) and that same year starred in Side Streets, a series of vignettes about life in New York's five boroughs. Faithful to her New York roots through and through, Dawson has continued to star in films set in her hometown, including Light It Up (1999), a drama that cast the actress as an honors student caught up in a hostage situation, and Down to You (2000), a romantic comedy in which she played a freewheeling stoner. After jamming with Josie and the Pussycats (2001) and landing on the Sidewalks of New York as a teacher dealing with a failed marriage, Dawson went the sci-fi comedy route in 2002 with roles in both Men in Black 2 and The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Rosario was born on May 9, 1979, in New York, USA.
Charges Against Actress Rosario Dawson Dropped
Prosecutors on Tuesday dropped all charges against actress Rosario Dawson stemming from her arrest while filming a protest scene during a real-life rally outside the Republican National Convention.
Dawson, fellow actress Vija Grosgalves and their director, Stephen Marshall, had been arrested in August and charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration following, facing up to one year in jail if convicted. The case was dismissed as the three were about to go on trial in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Dawson, 25, and Grosgalves, 28, were arrested while shooting a scene for a film about political protests, using an actual rally by thousands of anti-Bush demonstrators marching past Madison Square Garden as a backdrop.
Police said the pair were blocking traffic and violating municipal laws that bar protesters from concealing their identity with masks. When Marshall showed officers they had a legitimate permit from the city, police handcuffed him, too, and hauled away all three.
But Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eric Arnone told Justice Melissa Jackson that video footage of the incident made clear "that neither street nor pedestrian traffic was being obstructed as a result of the defendants' actions ... and that they remained civil and followed the directives of the police."
Dawson's lawyer, Ben Brafman, hailed the dismissal as a "complete vindication" of his client.
At the time of her arrest, Dawson was shooting a scene for the independent film "This Revolution," an homage to the 1969 drama "Medium Cool," about violence that erupted outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Actress Rosario Dawson fighting convention charges
Actress Rosario Dawson says she will fight disorderly conduct and obstruction charges stemming from her arrest during the Republican National Convention last year.
Dawson, 25, was arrested filming the movie "This Revolution" along with director Stephen Marshall. Authorities said she was wearing two handkerchiefs on her face with only her eyes showing.
A criminal complaint says she refused when ordered by police to move from the 35th Street and Eighth Avenue location, near the site of the GOP convention.
When Marshall tried to show the city film permit to police, he and Dawson were arrested.
Dawson refutes the police department's claim that she refused to move.
A Manhattan criminal court judge Tuesday denied Dawson's request to dismiss the charges and said her trial would begin next week, The New York Post reported in Wednesday editions.
More fun stuff about Rosario Dawson
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Her uncle is a teacher known as Uncle Frank or Mr. Jump
Is of Puerto Rican, Cuban, African American, Irish and Native American descent.
Discovered sitting on her front porch in New York City and asked if she wanted to be in a movie. That movie was Kids (1995).
Attended an alternative school in downtown Manhattan, where she harbored aspirations of one day becoming a marine biologist.
Was raised in Manhattan by her mother, a professional vocalist, and her father, who worked in construction.
Gave her ALEXANDER co-star Colin Farrell a black eye when a bedroom fight went too far. (2004)
Has signed on to star in the big-screen adaptation of Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning musical Rent, where she’ll play an HIV-positive exotic dancer and drug addict. (November 9, 2004)
Was arrested near the route of anti-Republican protests in Manhattan after she refused to get off the road. (August 31, 2004)
Rosario Dawson discusses her quest for Alexander
For Rosario Dawson, her pursuit of the role of Roxane in Oliver Stone's epic Alexander led her to offer her agent the directive, "I really, really want this part! Kiss his butt!" All the same, whatever she and her agent did to make Stone comfortable with the decision, it worked. The role of Roxane, Alexander's beautiful wife – and the source of much tension, as Alexander's true dedication was to his close friend Hephaistion – was hers to play. Says Dawson, "It was stunning to think that I was going to do it."
Dawson's long list of film credits include The Rundown with The Rock and Sean William Scott, The 25th Hour with Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Shattered Glass with Hayden Christensen and Peter Sarsgaard and Josie and the Pussycats with Rachael Leigh Cook and Tara Reid. And she will soon be seen as Gail in Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City.
Recently in Los Angeles, Dawson spoke with journalists about her work on Alexander.
Q: Congratulations! After all of your work in getting the role and then playing the part, now you're here talking about it. It was a long road from there to here.
ROSARIO DAWSON: Yes, it was a lot of work, but it all couldn't have been more exciting.
Q: The real moment for you was when you found out that you finally got the part? Tell us how that went for you.
DAWSON: I was so excited I can't tell you, because after doing the auditions for it there was this whole thing about [Oliver] 'still wouldn't be able to hire you because they have to fill a certain quota for European actresses because there was a lot of European financing.'
Q: So for a while it seemed like the door on this opportunity was closed?
DAWSON: Yes. But also so I was going out for these other films and I was going to be screen-testing for something for something – and for that you have to put a contract in and they have an amount of time to say 'yes' or 'no.' So I wasn't going to be available if he didn't give me the role. So my agent called him up and gave him this ultimatum, 'Listen, she doesn't have time for you to go to France and figure out what you want to do. You make her the offer now or you don't at all.'
Q: How does Oliver Stone respond to an ultimatum?
DAWSON: I said to my agent, 'What are you doing?! You don't give Oliver Stone an ultimatum! I really, really want this part! Kiss his butt! (Laughs)
Q: You did whatever you had to do, but it worked. You made sure he saw some of the films you've been in.
DAWSON: Yes, he called me the next day and said, 'I'm going to watch the 25th Hour again tonight and I'll get back to you. And the next day he called and said the part was mine. I was like, 'Oh, Thank God!' I've always wanted to work with Oliver and we fought really hard to get me in the room and to make that impression on him and to really make this happen. And then it worked and it was stunning to think that I was going to do it.
Q: When you started to work with Oliver Stone, what impressed you about him? What is it about him that brings out such focused creativity in actors? I mean, why do actors just give their all for this guy?
DAWSON: Because he gives his all. He really gives his all. He's not someone who's just kind of coming on set and being 'I wanted to do this because I can be considered a great director.' He takes challenges, he pushes himself, and this was difficult for him to put together and to get made. And you see that. This was a very personal project for him.
Q: I'm told that he lays down his directorial orders right away because he wasn't to be sure everyone is on his game and how he works; just to be sure everyone is on the same page from the start and there's not surprises.
DAWSON: He did. From the first meeting I had with him he said, 'Are you a team player? Because if you're not a team player that's how I run my set. A team is how I run my set.' And that's exactly what he did. No egos are to be allowed to be in there. There's not going to be any tiffy behavior. You're there to work and go beyond that. You have to go past your comfort zone. You have to really test yourself and give the best you can possibly give. No one is looking back at their performances going, 'Oh, I probably should have done this' or 'I really should have gone for it in that scene.' I don't think anybody feels like that. I think everybody gave their all for him.
Q: Working with Colin Farrell, you have in particular one rather revealing scene, an intense scene there. How was it that you were about to go in and do something like that, getting comfortable with it?
DAWSON: Oh, well it's too bad Colin is so ugly and just so uncoordinated and lacks any kind of talent and thrashed me off the bed, it was awful; but because I love Oliver so much I was like, 'Absolutely!' (Laughs) No. He's really, honestly, wonderful and I'm beyond impressed with Colin. When I first saw him, briefly two times when I was first auditioning for the part, I saw him passing by and I was like 'Oh,' thinking I'm going to audition now for the movie and I was thinking, 'There's that guy that has the reputation.'
Q: Had you seen his prior films? Colin does like to catch up on the movies of other actors he works with.
DAWSON: I hadn't seen all of his movies at [that time], but yeah, I watched them afterwards and I thought he was really amazing. I wouldn't have thought this from the things I was reading about him before I met him. I knew more about his drinking and personal life than I knew about his talent and his acting. The level that he brought it to in this scene and the complexity that he was able to bring to such a dynamic character and make him so human. He was able to weep, and still be someone that you believed was Alexander. I was really glad to meet someone who is a phenomenal person beyond the rumors. It opened my eyes up to Hollywood and how everything can be diluted from someone into a pebble. And new I just refuse to let anyone make petty little comments about him.
Q: Your performance as Roxane is very intense. You had to prepare for some difficult, emotional scenes and you did a very good job with it.
DAWSON: Thank you.
Q: With a movie like this, which does fit the definition of epic, do you think it's going to be hard to try top something like this?
DAWSON: I'll try. Funny you should say that because we all had this very sort of strange experience where, like Alexander, we all felt like we're really young and we still have a long road in front of us. As Alexander was very young and did such huge things, it makes you wonder, How do you ever top that? I'd love to think that this is like a crowing moment in my history, sure it's like I want to be queen for a while, I want that acting crown, but you move on and try to be creative.
Q: Some of you, and particularly Colin, pursued very different material after Alexander?
DAWSON: Yes, completely. Sin City is very different for me and Rent will be too. I know Colin went and did another movie that was such a beautiful film where he totally transformed himself again, At Home at the End of the World. It was like his range is beautiful and amazing and the Alexander with be the gem in his career, but he's got so much more to do. And so do all of us. We have the energy to kind of carrying things off. I know myself that whatever I do from here on in, it's going to be very different from Alexander. I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to what's to come because Alexander is such a great platform to jump from.
How did Rosario Dawson feel about her nude scene in Alexander?
Rosario Dawson had a lot to say about her nude love scene with Colin Farrell in Alexander. She plays Roxane, Alexander’s bride, and in their first night together, she tries to kill him. But in the heat of the moment, she ends up stripped naked and making love with a (half clothed by the way) Colin Farrell. “I have a slight nudity in He Got Game, but not like this,” Dawson said. “We built to that level. I mean, it wasn’t originally in the script that way. When we were in rehearsal, it just kept coming up. And it kept falling into that direction because we have such a short amount of time to convey the clash of spirit and passion that this couple had with each other. Conceptually, the times were so different then. There wasn’t shyness of personality in that time.
She was coming in, they were going to have this is his right as the new king, as king and husband and it’s not for being shy that she kind of fights with him. It’s for lack of respect and feeling like she wants to make sure they start off on the right foot. And it’s a very intense, intense scene and I think, it shows how crazed and raw it was to live then. You had to watch every single second to make sure you weren’t being poisoned by someone’s drink or stabbed in the back or going into war at any time you could die. This was not a man who was pushing a button from a room somewhere far away. He was in there. This is how everyone lived their life, like today would be the last day. So everything was very important. Maybe it was a little rich and indulgent but that is exactly how they all lived. They were young people and very powerful positions and they were living hard. And so I guess, its so weird because when we were there, we were three months in Morocco and you’re so into the story and the history of it and you’re building on that and servicing the story the best as you can with heart mind and soul, which is what I think everyone put into this. It’s weird now because looking at it, I’m watching it and going ‘Oh, I’m naked.’ I don’t think I really thought about that while I was doing it. The knife thing was more cool to me than me being naked. I just felt so supported and Colin is very generous and really takes care of you. And he’s just an amazing actor, just made it feel really professional and really okay. I’d worked with Rodrigo Prieto on 25th Hour before. I knew he was going to make it look beautiful. I talked to Oliver. we worked on it in rehearsal. I felt really safe and trusted him implicitly and it just felt right. And it’s now strange to think about. I don’t think I really thought about my dad and my brother are going to watch this later. Oops!
Rosario and 'Sex and City'
Actress Rosario Dawson tells Hollywood Life magazine that she hadn't seen "Sex and the City" much before she started dating the show's Jason Lewis, her squeeze of the past eight months. When she checked him out on screen, she said, she was surprised to see "how naked he is, and how often he's naked on the show. Well, no wonder people were swooning over him." And, while we're fans ourselves of the IMDb.com Web site, Rosario insists that, site's info to the contrary, she does not at all like being called "Rosie." She says "That's one of the most ridiculous things. I've tried to change it, but I guess they don't believe I'm me. I guess I'm not a good enough source of information."
Dawson's 'Radical' Mother
Actress ROSARIO DAWSON hates taking her mother to magazine photoshoots - because she always wants her to undress more.
The 25-year-old actress's mum ISABEL often accompanies her on modelling jobs.
But she tells gossip website PAGESIX.COM, "I'll be at a photo shoot where they don't have anything that fits me, and she'll be the one who says, 'Why don't you just take a picture where you're holding your breasts?
"My mom's so radical."
Rosario Dawson Moves In With Lewis
Sexy actress ROSARIO DAWSON is so smitten with her beau JASON LEWIS, she's moving in with him.
The ALEXANDER's beauty will leave her base in San Francisco to move further down the California coastline to Los Angeles, where former SEX AND THE CITY hunk Lewis already has a home.
Lewis says, "She is packing up her things and coming down to LA to live with me. We're just going to see how it goes."
Dawson adds, "I'm very excited to play house with him!"
The couple met in August (04), while shooting the movie THIS REVOLUTION.
Dawson Asks For Charges To Be Dropped
ALEXANDER's star ROSARIO DAWSON appeared in New York's Manhattan criminal court on Thursday (20JAN05) to ask for charges against her to be dropped, after she was arrested for wearing a mask in the midst of a protest.
The actress was arrested in August (04) while playing the role of a masked protester near the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION. Local police didn't take kindly to Dawson's attire as it's illegal to cover your face during a protest in New York.
American TV show CELEBRITY JUSTICE reports that TANYA BRAGANTI, the photographer who took the pictures of Dawson's arrest, says the screen beauty, another actress and the director were handcuffed and taken into custody.
All three were charged with obstruction and disorderly conduct. The mayor's office says the film was approved for shooting but in a different location.
Dawson's defence had filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss her case, but the prosecution filed a response asking the judge to reject that request.
The actress must return to court in March (05).
Rosario Dawson Talks About "The Rundown"
Rosario Dawson has the enviable task of being the sole female among the principal cast and her "The Rundown" director, Peter Berg, has nothing but praise for her abilities. "Rosario's talent, her presence, her smile - she is great as the third side in this power struggle between Beck and Travis, giving Mariana a depth and mystery that's really great for the story," says Berg.
ROSARIO DAWSON ('Mariana')
Does "The Rundown" show off a different side of The Rock?
Yes, absolutely. The wrestling world as we know it is kind of 'show.' It's a lot of out-there kind of ridiculousness. I think in this one he really gets to be a little more internal. As an actor he gets to put out a whole other side of himself. He gets to play different role as opposed to just being 'The Rock.'
What do you think the chances are there will be a sequel?
Oh God, I hope so but I don't know if they'd end up putting it in Brazil. That's the unfortunate thing about my character, she's kind of left behind. Maybe I should have made out with one of the boys (laughing).
That's what I was going to ask you. How refreshing is it to be in a film where you're not the love interest and you get to be a strong woman without the romance?
It was absolutely amazing and one of the things that really drew me to the script. In the beginning, it was sort of intertwined but there was a part of her where she was walking away from it. I really liked that they just simply dropped it completely. It just made it so much stronger.
And working with The Rock?
Amazing. He's one of the most talented, beautiful human beings I've ever met.
What's the most surprising thing about working with The Rock?
The fact that his legs are shaved closer than mine are. No, he's actually one of the most confident people I've ever met and that is really essential to doing what we do, acting-wise, especially in something like this where you are acting with things that aren't there. He's so dedicated, he puts those hours in, he's up there doing it all. I admire his discipline.
Did you have to do much physical training for this role?
A little bit, kind of playing with a gun and doing all those different things, going to a shooting range and stuff. I'd done that before for other stuff. Fortunately I was not even trying to compete with the boys because they were in the gym every single second, kind of like going, “See, I have -3% body fat.” “Oh yeah, I have -4% body fat.” It was absolutely ridiculous (laughing).
I was actually good because I naturally have body fat that I cannot get rid of so I was not freezing in certain parts of the scenes. There was a point where Seann William Scott's butt cheeks were jumping independently of each other. We were doing some wet stuff that was just freezing cold in the middle of the morning and I was like, “I'm good!” It felt kind of good in some moments to feel like a little bit more strong-wise, at least endurance-wise, as a female.
Have you started working on “Alexander” for Oliver Stone yet?
Yes. Shooting commenced on Friday. Today is Day 2. I was just in Morocco - I just came in last night - doing rehearsals. I leave to go back in a week. It's amazing.
Have they shot any of your scenes yet?
No, no. I start shooting October 15th.
Rosario Dawson Talks About "25th Hour"
Rosario Dawson was a natural choice for the role of 'Naturelle.' Dawson and Spike Lee had previously worked together on "He Got Game," and had been looking for another project to work on together.
“I love working with Rosario, and right away there was very good chemistry between her and Edward [Norton],” says Lee.
Dawson's onscreen love interest, Edward Norton as Monty, had nothing but praise for his co-star's approach to acting. “She has a very natural sense of understatement. She is very comfortable with stillness, which I think is the key to film acting and which I think is very rare in an actress as young as she is. I was very impressed with Rosario’s talent in ‘He Got Game’ and really wanted her to play this part," explains Norton.
ROSARIO DAWSON ('Naturelle')
Was Spike Lee intimidated when you demanded this role from him?
No, you know, he loves a good fight so he was kind of excited. I was like, “Don't even show me who else is up for this because I don't want to have to put any tabs on anybody, know what I mean?”
Did you know that in the book the character was Naturelle Rosario?
Yeah, I was like, “Dude, it's my role, so that's it.” I think we just danced around and it was really cute. It was nice actually because we'd been wanting to work together again for a long time. He was excited about having something that he felt would be challenging and wonderful for us to work with again, but he was just worried that it might've been too similar to Lala in “He Got Game.” That was something that we really worked on, not repeating ourselves. But I was like, “This is not going to be a problem because I'm playing a woman. It's very different from the little girl that I was playing before.” So, that was really interesting, tackling this and being so specific and cautious and focused on it.
Was it different working with Spike Lee again after making two movies with Ed Burns?
I've noticed a growth in Spike and definitely in myself. I feel like the seeds that he planted in me five years ago have ripened up to a place where I could even tackle this role in the way that I did. This was really challenging.
He has changed so much. It was really interesting. His passion was charged in a way when he was younger, and he was just in a different place in his life than he is now. It was really wonderful this time around and being able to see that, and I think vice versa, because over the years we keep bumping into each other and talking and stuff, just seeing each other grow has always been really nice. It just only made me anticipate more and more the opportunity to work with him again. And it was very rewarding.
Why is Naturelle with Monty (played by Edward Norton), a drug dealer who many would consider the scum of the earth?
I think if you look at it superficially, yeah, you could say that about him. What I like is that you see that there's so much more. We did so much, like things that aren't in the book, [such as] how he loved his photography. How in the very beginning of the film when you first meet him, yeah, he is a drug dealer and he's about to go on a drug run, but he stops to pick up this dog and nurses it back to help.
When we meet, I'm interested and I'm curious about what he's doing because he's burning a number from a client. And I'm like, “Who is this?” and my girlfriend's like, “That's a drug dealer. Stay away from him.” So I'm automatically peaked and what do we talk about? Basketball. It's like our relationship is always about the other side that isn't the obvious side. It's like who we are as people and then that's the other side, what he does for a living. We've kind of ignored it and kept it away. I think what's interesting about how it's done is that it's not black and white. I think you like Monty. I think he's a really good guy. He's charming, he's interesting, he's got good friends and I think it's those exact qualities about him. He uses his good powers for evil, and that's when it gets to the dangerous side of it. I think the dangerous element, again, she's young [and] it's very attractive. I think that's what keeps her there, but it's not something that would have lasted for very much longer.
It's exactly those qualities that are almost irresistible to the people in his life. Most of the people, especially the people who really care about him, his good friends, the people who know him the best, are all these people who have regular, morally sound, jobs and lifestyles. But every single one of them admires him and to some degree is a little jealous, a little envious, and covet the lifestyle that he has. Maybe not the means by which he gets it, but definitely the lifestyle that he has. I think that's what they all share and that's where they want to superficially deal with him in that way, not really take on the bigger picture.
I thought my character definitely was very much in love with him and wanted to be with him, but I think at some point they were going to have to draw the line. You can only avoid responsibility for so long. The catalyst ended up being the law coming down and finally saying, “You guys suspended judgement and that's fine, because we're not.” They kind of took it out of our hands. We're still able to deal with him on an emotional level. He got his just means because that's just how it works. He got his consequences but none of us fed it to him.
Monty's friends and his father stay very loyal to him. How do you explain considering the fact he's a drug dealer?
I'd love to be the first one to say this, but it automatically turns into - we all have those responsibilities that we ignore because we don't feel like they're ours. And it's very easy to go into a Gap or whatever, those stores, and buy a $15 shirt from Old Navy and completely ignore the fact that that family tears down trees in Brazil and is causing deforestation and desertification and go, “That's not really my problem.” So, it's really easy for Monty's father to be like, “I can't believe you're doing this. It's a really hard life that you're doing and selling drugs.” But [Monty's] like, “You had no problem when you were in debt, taking the money from me, and you knew where it came from.”
It's that same sort of idea that the relationship we have to lots of people in our lives that are not... All the times that you take the easier route of just kind of ignoring how that transaction's going down and not taking responsibility of putting your foot down. We all do it to a certain level. It's very subtle. But this person just took it a little too far and he suffers for it.
But again, I think it's all the opportunities that we have at every single one of those moments that's in our face, it's glaringly obvious and we always ignore it. All the times being like, “Who rented this car and why are we going to this place?” You take the easy route and go, “Oh, thanks for the champagne. I'll have another.”
How is the boyfriend situation?
Well, I'm alone now. I know that's not what the trades say. It's actually been really weird. People keep asking me, "So, how is it with so and so?"
The trades or the tabloids?
Both (laughing). But I'm sort of doing the alone thing right now, which is cool.
Want to clear up rumors about Cris Judd?
I'm alone, so I think that clears that up pretty quickly.
Was it just made up?
It was completely, which is actually really funny. I didn't even remember it because it kind of came up, and then a week later it said I broke up with him. Then a week later I supposedly dumped him to date Adam 12, this other friend of mine that I was seen hanging out with. I was just sort of like, "Whatever." Then yesterday people were asking, "So, how's it going with Cris?" And I was trying to figure out what it was and I was like, "Oh, you mean Judd? No, nothing." It's so not where my life is right now.
How about the one where you were engaged to Joshua Jackson?
Yeah, that was a funny rumor. It was funny actually because that was still during the time we were dating. He would get all these calls because supposedly before we broke up, we had already broken up in the trades, in the rags or whatever. It was saying that I had called off the wedding and all this stuff. It was so funny because he'd get calls and I'd get called from people saying, "Are you okay?" He'd get calls like, "Oh, that really sucks, man. You must be so down." I was like, "What are you talking about?" I heard you broke off the engagement. "What engagement? What are you talking about?"
Why are people so interested in your love life?
I have no idea. It's literally so brand new and I think that literally is so funny because I think it's just the film work. Just like, "Rosario's working with this person and this person." I'm getting all my friends being like, "Wow, now you're in a tub with Edward Norton?" You start watching me with multiple partners in films and you start going, "Well, who's she dating in real life?" That's a lot of men. But damn, people in Hollywood don't have that much or at least I don't.
Is it weird to work so hard and be recognized for things said in a magazine, that may not even be true?
That's what really cemented the Cris Judd thing is because we were in "US Weekly" together. It was one thing when it was in the rags, but if we actually had pages in "US," then it's definitely true. It was so funny when I read it. I was like, "I always look at this and think this is true." It totally broke down my whole way of viewing the propaganda that is.