Josie and the Pussycats
“As an actor, there are times when you’re sitting around and wishing you were working, so you’ve got to just take it when it comes.” Rosario Dawson
Actress Rosario Dawson received a remarkable string of roles at a young age. After having several acceptable gigs on the silver screen, Dawson gained a legion of male fans through her portrayal of rocker Valerie Brown in Josie and the Pussycats (2001, also sang “Pussycats”). Since then, the rising actress has been busy with numerous screen performances, including roles in 25th Hour (2002), Alexander (2004, played Roxanne, Alexander’s wife) and the adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novels, Sin City (2005, as Gail).
Outside the spotlight, Dawson once reportedly failed to pay her low-rent apartment monthly dues and angered her neighbors. She was also arrested, with two other crew members, while filming the 2005 movie This Revolution for taping the scenes near the location of 2004 Republican National Convention and refusing to move from the spot. The arrest, however, did not result in any charges. On a more positive side, the owner of the production company Trybe took part in “Any One of Us: Words from Prison,” a story-telling about incarcerated women and the role of violence in their lives. Rosie O’Donnell, Phylicia Rashad and other public figures also participated in the project.
As for her personal life, the actress was once linked to Jay-Z (2000-2002) and Jason Lewis (2004-2005). She is now reportedly engaged to actor Joshua Jackson.
Childhood and Family:
In the heart of New York, Rosario Dawson was born on May 9, 1979, to Greg Dawson (worked in construction, Irish descent) and Isabel Dawson (professional vocalist, Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban descent). Rosie (Rosario’s nickname) was raised with her only brother, Clay Dawson, in a tenement building. When she was a little girl, her parents divorced but still lived in the same building.
Rosie attended an alternative school in Manhattan, during which she dreamed about being a marine biologist. However, the dream was abandoned when she was suddenly offered a role in a feature film.
“I was just hanging out where I live and they asked if I wanted to be in the movie. I was like, ‘You’re picking people off the street? Obviously this movie is not going anywhere.’” Rosario Dawson on the offer of a role in Kids (1995)
By coincidence, teenaged Rosario Dawson received a ticket to fame when she accepted the offer to play the supporting role of Ruby in the drama movie Kids (1995). She soon landed the female lead role in the short film Girls Night Out (1997) and followed it up with the part of opportunistic Lala Bonilla in Spike Lee’s sport drama He Got Game (1998). She was then seen as Marisol Hidalgo in the comedy Side Streets (1998) before starring as Stephanie Williams in the drama Light It Up (1999). Dawson was then featured in Prince’s remixed song “1999” (1999).
Following the failed romantic comedy Down to You (2000) and Seth Zvi Rosenfeld’s King of the Jungle (2000), Dawson again made a name for herself as an adept teen actress by starring as rocker Valerie Brown in the live action adaptation of the cartoon series Josie and the Pussycats (2001), where she also contributed her vocals in the track “Pussycats.” 2001 also saw her do some stints in Edward Burns’ romantic comedy Sidewalks of New York, the drama Trigger Happy, and Ethan Hawke’s directing debut Chelsea Walls.
Dawson then rejoined director Spike Lee in the critically acclaimed crime drama 25th Hour (2002), as Naturelle Riviera, before acting opposite Steve Buscemi in Love in the Time of Money (2002). Subsequent to her rejoining Edward Burns for Ash Wednesday (2002), she had female lead parts in the mediocre comedy The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002), the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed Men in Black II (2002) and the disastrous The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002).
Dawson fared much better with her involvement in the applauded movies Shattered Glass (2003, played Andy Fox), This Girl’s Life (2003), Alexander (2004, had the supporting part of Roxane, Alexander’s wife) and the long-awaited Sin City (2005, as Gail), which was based on Frank Miller’s graphic novels. Also in 2005, she portrayed Mimi Marquez, an HIV-positive exotic dancer and drug addict, in a revival of Jonathan Larson’s Tony-winning musical, Rent. Adding to the list of her performances, Dawson was cast as Haley in Talia Lugacy’s short film Little Black Dress (2005), as well as carried out the role of Tina Santiago in the drama thriller This Revolution (2005).
Recently, the young actress costarred as Laurie, opposite Robert Downey, Jr., in the little-seen A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006), as well as took the leading role of Becky in the sequel movie Clerks II (2006). Trying her hand at new responsibility, Dawson will produce the upcoming Descent (2006), in which she also starred as Maya, a college co-ed who was raped and struggled to rebuild her life.
Following her collaboration with actor Mickey Rourke in Killshot (2006, played Donna), the actress will continue her teamwork with Rourke in Robert Rodriguez’ horror movie Grind House (2007, Rodriguez partnered with director/screenwriter Quentin Tarantino) and the sequel Sin City 2 (2007, Rodriguez associated with Frank Miller).