ROSARIO DAWSON NEWS, INTERVIEWS & UPDATES
News for 6/6/2005
Dawson's Down with 'Descent'
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com)- Rosario Dawson's new production shingle Trybe Films will produce "Descent" as a starring vehicle for the "Alexander" actress.
Written by Talia Lugacy and Brian Priest and directed by Lugacy, "Descent" focuses on a coed (Dawson) who becomes a vigilante seductress after she's the victim of a violent act. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production is scheduled to begin in September.
Lugacy and Priest are both principals in Trybe, which will produce in association with MEGA Films and Morris Levy.
Dawson, who will next be seen in the big screen adaptation of "Rent," last appeared in Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City." Other credits for the 26-year-old actress include "Kids," "Josie and the Pussycats" and "25th Hour."
News for 5/18/2005
A Decent Role for Rosario Dawson
Source: Production Weekly
Rosario Dawson is set to play the lead in the low-budget feature Decent, written by Brian Priest and Talia Lugacy, who will also direct.
Production Weekly says Dawson plays Maya, a college coed with all the promise of a smart, beautiful and focused young woman. She is tempted to crawl out of her shell a little by her friends and lured out by an enticing boy. A frightful event throws this once bright-eyed beauty spinning out of control and spiraling down paths she never could have dreamed. Clawing to regain herself and her sense of normalcy, she turns to revenge for closure.
Filming is scheduled to start mid-September in New York.
The following article appeared in the April 11, 2005 issue of People Magazine
News for 3/27/2005
The following interview appeared in the February/March 2005 Movieline's Hollywood Life Magazine
News for 3/17/2005
Charges Against Rosario Dawson Dismissed
NEW YORK (AP) - A Manhattan judge dismissed charges against Rosario Dawson and two others who were arrested while filming movie scenes near the location of last year's Republican National Convention.
Charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing government administration were dismissed Tuesday by Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson. The charges were filed against Dawson, director Stephen Marshall and Viaja Grosgalves following their arrest near Madison Square Garden, site of the 2004 GOP convention.
"I'm happy how this all went down," said Dawson, 25, as she left the court. Dawson's screen credits include "Men in Black II" and "Alexander."
The trio had been shooting scenes for "This Revolution" when they were seized Aug. 29, 2004, along with hundreds of anti-GOP protesters at 35th Street and Eighth Avenue.
Police said at the time that Dawson was wearing two handkerchiefs on her face with only her eyes showing and that the group had refused to move when police told them to. They were arrested after Marshall tried to show police a city film permit.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Arnone, in asking the judge to dismiss the charges, said his office had reviewed videotapes of the area at the time of the arrests.
"Of all the tapes we have reviewed, none of the footage establishes that the defendants were given a command to leave the area, much less that the defendants intentionally disobeyed a command to leave," Arnone said.
The prosecutor also said the defendants were using the protests as a backdrop for the film and weren't part of the protests themselves.
News for 3/10/2005
Dawson to Fight Disorderly Conduct Charges
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Rosario Dawson claims she's being put on trial unfairly.
"The Rundown" actress, who was arrested at an anti-Bush march during the Republican National Convention in Manhattan in August 2004, insists that she wasn't demonstrating but shooting a scene in her upcoming film "This Revolution," reports the AP.
The thousands of protesters were used as a backdrop for the scene, in which Dawson allegedly wore a handkerchief as a mask with only her eyes showing. When director Stephen Marshall showed the police a film permit issued by the city, he was cuffed and arrested along with Dawson.
Authorities claim that the permit was not valid, and that protesters are not allowed to hide their identities with masks, according to city laws. Officers also say that Dawson refused to move from the 35th Street and Eighth Avenue location, near the site of the GOP convention.
Dawson has been charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and the obstruction of governmental administration. She's been released without bail.
Although the 25-year-old actress requested the charges be dismissed, a Manhattan criminal court judge insisted her trial would begin next week.
"Revolution" centers on a photographer covers the urban guerrilla war on New York streets during the RNC. When one of his confidential tapes falls into the hands of the network employing him, he discovers that Homeland Security is reviewing the footage to look for potential terror suspects.
Dawson recently starred in "25th Hour," "Shattered Glass" and "Alexander." She next appears opposite in the upcoming Robert Rodriguez flick "Sin City," which will open nationwide on Friday, April 1.
News for 11/11/2004
Dawson Strips for 'Rent' Money
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Rosario Dawson, who was discovered in New York to make her feature debut "Kids," will return to the Big Apple.
The 25-year-old actress has signed on to star in the big-screen adaptation of Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning musical "Rent," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Loosely based on "La Boheme," "Rent" centers on a group of friends who are dealing with AIDS in New York's East Village over the course of one year. Dawson is set to play Mimi Marquez, an HIV-positive exotic dancer and drug addict.
Casting Dawson is a bit of a surprise, since it's known that most of the original stage cast -- Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin, Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Idina Menzel -- are in talks to reprise their roles for the movie.
"Home Alone" and "Harry Potter" director Chris Columbus will begin shooting "Rent" in the spring.
Dawson's other film credits include "Josie and the Pussycats," "Men in Black II," "25th Hour" and "The Rundown." She next stars opposite Colin Farrell in Oliver Stone's "Alexander," which will open nationwide on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
News for 11/7/2004
The following article appears in the November 2004 issue of InStyle Magazine
News for 9/1/2004
Rosario Dawson Arrested Near GOP Protests
NEW YORK (AP) - Actress Rosario Dawson of the movies "Kids" and "Shattered Glass" was arrested near the route of anti-Republican protests after she refused to get off the road, authorities said Monday.
Dawson, 25, of Los Angeles, was filming a movie called "This Revolution," according to published reports. She was taken into custody at midday Sunday about a block from the site of the Republican National Convention in Madison Square Garden, authorities said.
The movie's director, Stephen Marshall, 36, of Toronto, also was arrested, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.
According to the criminal complaint, Dawson and Marshall were spotted in a road with about 30 people gathered around them. She and another person were wearing handkerchiefs as masks with only their eyes showing.
A police officer told Dawson and the other person that they had to leave the roadway, the complaint said, but they reportedly refused. Marshall reportedly tried to show police his city film permit but was arrested anyway.
Each was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one charge of obstructing governmental administration. They were released without bail and told to return to court Nov. 9.
News for 6/1/2004
Rosario Dawson Travels to Sin City
Variety reports that Rosario Dawson (Men in Black II, The Rundown) has joined the ensemble cast of the Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller-directed Dimension Films adaptation of Sin City.
Dawson will take part in the third and final segment. Rodriguez based the film on Miller's graphic novel series. The finale also stars Benicio Del Toro, Clive Owen and Brittany Murphy. Quentin Tarantino is considered likely to direct some of that episode.
The film's cast also includes Bruce Willis, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Nick Stahl, Jessica Alba, Elijah Wood, Carla Gugino, Jaime King and Marley Shelton.
Dawson can next be seen in Oliver Stone's Alexander.
News for 10/27/2003
The following article appeared in the September 2003 issue of InStyle Magazine
News for 7/29/2003
Director Stone Taps Dawson
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Oliver Stone continues to wrangle his all-star cast for the epic "Alexander." Stone is in talks with actress Rosario Dawson to fill the role of Roxanne. Dawson recently played Edward Norton's love interest in Spike Lee's "25th Hour."
According to industry reports, Dawson and Stone already have met, with negotiations expected to begin shortly. Dawson was spotted with the director and "Alexander" stars Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie last week at the premiere of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life."
As Roxanne, Dawson will portray Alexander's (Farrell) first wife.
The 24-year-old actress was discovered sitting on her front stoop in New York City by the makers of "Kids." Her career began to pick up steam after her turn in Edward Burns' "Sidewalks of New York" in 2001.
Since then, Dawson has been working nonstop, with upcoming features such as the indie "This Girl's Life," "The Rundown" opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Seann William Scott, and "Shattered Glass" with Chloe Sevigny, who was also in "Kids."
News for 6/1/2003
Mother & daughter interview from the May 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Mother & daughter interview from the May 2003 issue of InStyle Magazine.
News for 1/12/2003
Rosario's August 2002 Upscale Magazine Interview
News for 8/28/2002
Battle Of The Tough Girl Sidekicks
News for 8/16/2002
Dawson & Azaria Break Glass
Rosario Dawson and Hank Azaria are in final negotiations to crack the cast of Lions Gate Films' Shattered Glass, the true story of a wunderkind writer whose high-profile magazine stories were exposed as fakes.
"Glass" also stars Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Steve Zahn, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Chloe Sevigny.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Glass" is based on a 1998 Vanity Fair article. The project stars Christensen as Stephen Glass, a young Washington-based writer for publications ranging from the New Republic to Rolling Stone. Considered a rising star, Glass is eventually accused of fabricating most of his articles, even making up entire sources and quotes.
Rosario Dawson Travels to Helldorado
Rosario Dawson (Men in Black II, The Adventures of Pluto Nash) has come aboard to play the female lead in Universal Pictures' untitled action-adventure project (aka "Helldorado") for director Peter Berg.
The Hollywood Reporter says Dawson will segue into the films' Sept. 20 start after she wraps shooting Lions Gate Films' Shattered Glass, shooting in Montreal.
The untitled project stars Seann William Scott as Travis, a young man from a powerful family who goes off in search of a gold mine in the Amazon only to be retrieved by a mercenary named Beck (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), hired by Travis' father. Despite their hostility and their love for the same woman -- Dawson's character -- the two must join forces to fight against the head of a gold-mining corporation ( Christopher Walken) who is also after the treasure.
Dawson plays Carmen, a pilot and guide who ends up joining Travis and Beck on their adventure. R.J. Stewart wrote the original draft, which was rewritten by James Vanderbilt.
News for 8/9/2002
USA Weekend Interview with Rosario
Shining among stars
Rosario Dawson sparkled in ""Men in Black II"", even next to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. Next up: more sci-fi, this time with Eddie Murphy.
by Joe Neumaier
Rosario Dawson can turn heads, but she can't turn a phrase. "I'm horrible with sayings!" the actress admits with a laugh, rolling her gorgeous brown eyes to mock herself. "I get them all backwards. Which one did I just screw up ... 'What's prologue is the past'? Yesterday I said, 'I'm not the black kettle calling the pot.' It's so sad!"
That malaprop problem might be sad if she weren't such a fast-rising starlet, no matter how you say it. In last month's money-in-the-bank sequel "Men in Black II", Dawson played a pizza-joint waitress who required protection after witnessing an alien attack on agents Jay and Kay (Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones). And this month, she stars opposite Eddie Murphy as a lounge singer on the run in the sci-fi comedy "The Adventures of Pluto Nash"."This summer is my coming-out party," Dawson says.
A tough, earthy 23-year-old who appeared seven years ago in Kids, a small, bare-knuckled movie about aimless American youth, and then in Spike Lee's "He Got Game", Dawson may seem like an unlikely candidate for a movie set on the moon. But "Pluto" director Ron Underwood says Dawson is cut out for comedy, which is evident in conversation: Serious-minded but possessing a mischievous sense of humor, Dawson mimics everything from a hungry velociraptor to a hyper child.
"I wasn't counting on Rosario being funny," Underwood says. "But she has a real knack for it." In one scene, when they're visiting the "Nu-U Body Clinic," Murphy ad-libs about enhancing Dawson's butt, and she gives it back to him with, "Can you do something about his big mouth?"
It is midafternoon, and Dawson, dressed in a vanilla-colored dress and cowboy boots, sits near an open window at a cozy, antique-filled coffeehouse in Alphabet City, an edgy section of downtown Manhattan favored by artists, musicians and funky fringe-dwellers. The neighborhood has changed a lot since Dawson's childhood there. "It's gentrified now," she says. "But growing up in New York was awesome. You could just walk down any block and all of a sudden there was a block party. The street would be closed off and people would be milling around selling things and laughing and dancing. It was so great."
In those days, Dawson was a tomboy with "a big imagination." An empty cardboard box would occupy her and her younger brother for days. "I loved performing. I'd put on my "Sesame Street" records and do shows for my family," says Dawson, who still lives a few blocks away in an extensively refurbished apartment in the same tenement building where "Kids" director Larry Clark discovered her, at 15, sitting on her stoop. "My mom would crack up at me. Or I'd put [scarves] together and be a little belly dancer."
Her parents separated years ago, but both stayed in the building; Dawson remains close with each of them. Her mother is a Bronx-born singer of Puerto Rican, Cuban and African-American descent; her father, who is in construction, is Irish and Native American. The trouble between her parents hasn't always been easy to witness, Dawson says, but some good has come of it: "My family's the most dramatic bunch. I don't need to watch television -- I got free drama right there. That's where I learned everything I know."
In high school, Dawson considered marine biology as a career but chose to pursue acting when Kids became a controversial hit. She opted out of college and entered the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she was shocked to learn that most actors don't get discovered outside their apartment. While other students stampeded into open calls, Dawson, without even trying, already had an agent and a movie in theaters. "I was like, What do you mean, 'hit my mark'? I was totally clueless."
Now, she's a veteran of more than 15 indie and Hollywood movies -- and one aspect directors like to utilize is Dawson's New York-ness. "I'm multicultural, and that's how you think of New York -- as a melting pot. Which is perhaps why I've been able to fit into lots of genres," she says. Last year, Dawson played a relationship-wary schoolteacher in "Sidewalks of New York" and a sexy rock star in the big-screen adaptation of "Josie and the Pussycats". She's now shooting Spike Lee's new thriller, "The 25th Hour", based on the novel, with Edward Norton.
"She has a quality that reminds me of my wife [actress Uma Thurman]," says Ethan Hawke, who after just one meeting cast Dawson in his directorial debut, the 2001 art-house drama "Chelsea Walls". "When Uma was young, she was so luminous but looked very wise. She had a worldliness in her eyes, and Rosario has the same thing."
While she enjoys hopscotching from dramas to comedies to blockbusters, when the subject turns to her Latin role models, it isn't J.Lo she names, but rather early trailblazers like Desi Arnaz and Rita Moreno. She also looks up to Halle Berry (whom she replaced in "Pluto Nash" early on).
"I'm very lucky to have started out in indie films and cross over into big-budget stuff," Dawson says, strolling out of the cafe and blending easily into the Manhattan street life. "I feel like every film has helped me handle the next thing."
News for 7/10/2002
USA Today interview with Rosario Dawson
Success takes Rosario Dawson by surprise
By Andy Seiler,
July 10, 2002
NEW YORK — Rosario Dawson didn't quite believe it when director Barry Sonnenfeld told her she would be playing Will Smith's love interest in Men in Black II . "I thought it was some really sick, mean joke that they were just all pulling on me," says Dawson, 23. "I wouldn't put it past anybody in this crew." But the street-smart actress says she's learning to accept pleasant surprises. After all, she never expected to be an actress in the first place.
Her movie career began at 15, when she caught the eye of director Larry Clark and screenwriter Harmony Korine, who were scouting locations for the controversial drama Kids. They spotted Dawson in her neighborhood, Alphabet City, on Manhattan's Lower East Side.Dawson played Ruby, the wildly promiscuous girl whose blunt sex talk opens the film. Filmmakers who approached Dawson after Kids came out figured she was playing herself — and would only offer her carbon-copy roles.
Dawson did take the one "neighborhood girl" part that spoke to her, for Spike Lee's He Got Game. "Lala was still not me at all, but I knew that girl," she says.
When cast as a strait-laced type in the school rebellion film Light It Up and later, as one of the singing Josie and the Pussycats, she was thrilled to break the mold.
If MIB II makes Dawson a star, she might even have to move. Dawson has never left her old neighborhood and is constantly stopped on the street by admirers who tell her she looks like someone they've seen in the movies. They always assume that she can't be that someone since she lives in the 'hood.
"I'm glad I can't really see without my glasses, because then I don't really notice it that often," she says. "But people call me Lala wherever I go. Spike is now known as the man who sabotaged my name."
Even a reporter's questions can remind her of the neighborhood. When asked if she's single, Dawson shakes her head. When asked if she's married, she shakes it again.
"This sounds like when I get picked up on the street," she says. "Guys are like, 'Yo, are you married? Are you dating somebody?' " She will only reveal that she has a boyfriend; she's not revealing his name.
Dawson has several movies in the can, including some independent films and Pluto Nash, an Eddie Murphy sci-fi comedy set in the future and opening Aug. 16.
Right now, she is in the midst of shooting The 25th Hour, again with Lee, which screenwriter David Benioff adapted from his own acclaimed first novel. She plays the girlfriend of a drug dealer (Edward Norton) who is about to go to jail.
"In the book, his girlfriend's name is Naturelle Rosario, so I was like 'This is my role!' But they've changed it to Naturelle Rivera now. I think they were just a little weirded by the 'Rosario.' People would have thought they did it on purpose, and it would have been distracting.
"Actually," she adds, giving it a second thought, "I don't know why they changed it. I think Rosario's a gorgeous name."