A/V Room









Sin City - Rosario Dawson interview

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q: This must be as out there as you can get. Did you think twice about it?
Absolutely not. I was so excited and I had been anticipating it for a while. My uncle Gus is a comic book artist and we had been talking about it. And with the fan base in the comic book world this has been something that has been talked about for a long time but hadn’t been touched for a particular reason.
Frank Miller had written this script and given it to producers and pulled it because they weren’t going to get it right and he was like ‘you know what? Some things are meant to stay as books..’ And then Robert (Rodriguez) took it to another place and I was so excited to be a part of this film, it’s going to make history.

Q: Is it true that your mother helped you get this role?
That’s exactly how she credits herself [laughs]. She accosted Robert at the Once Upon A Time In Mexico premier in New York and we were huge fans of his and she jumped on him and said ‘my daughter Rosario absolutely loves you, you must put her in a movie..’ and he was like ‘yeah tell her to call me, the next role is hers..’ but I still had to audition. [laughs].

Q: Did you do some training before playing Gail?
I’ve been wearing heels for a long time, so that was good training [laughs] . And wielding an Uzi was a little strange but I’d done some shooting for other films before, like Rundown, and this was interesting because we usually have stunt guns for that stuff but because of how close the screen was we couldn’t use a gun that would have fake kick back, so I’m having to do that (makes like she’s holding a gun) like if you were a kid playing with your friends - that’s exactly how it felt with this green screen behind you and only a couple of props.
But everyone is in this imaginary world with you and you are just playing it out and having a good time.

Q: What about the costume? It’s very revealing..
Well that was interesting, there wasn’t a whole lot of it [laughs] I was like ‘oh nice..’ But when I started it was obvious that they were sticking very closely to Frank’s graphic novels, it was very exact, so no one could go ‘can’t she wear pants?’ it was fun you know, I was just really excited about getting into it. and once you put that outfit on, with all the dialogue, all the movements really come to you because it was a very posy character and it was nice having so much pre-ordained for you just stepping into this character.
I chopped my hair off for it, I did the strut and it really worked, it was real fun, if anything I felt really excited sort of being this woman pretty much half dressed but around all these other women and still feeling cocky and cocksure.

Q: So the costume helped?
Yeah. Every single woman there just felt fantastic and we weren’t sizing each other up like who is better or not. There was lots of different looks, every fantasy was out there, but the women were always in control and that was what made it fun putting on that outfit.

Q: Did you stop eating two weeks before the film started?
Hell no! We were in Austin and we would go off and have this big brisket slathered in barbecue sauce and then Robert would look over and go ‘maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do...’ and I was like ‘oh, don’t worry, I’ll loosen a buckle..’ And I like that it was all digital, I was like ‘take off the inches, help me out there Robert, make me look good!’ [laughs]

Q: What was your view of the violence? Does the fact that the violence is so stylised lessen it?
I think so. The yellow blood is interesting, it does lessen it. Everything is so extreme – these women are going into war in high heels. This is not supposed to be based on reality at all. The violence is extreme, the outfits are extreme, the love, the situations, everything is out there. It’s all about entertainment. You are not supposed to look at this and go ‘but why would they do all of that violence..’ It was all in the book. Ask Frank, basically, that’s a dark man [laughs].

Q: Did you ever talk about the way women are portrayed in the film?
I’m just the wrong broad to ask these types of questions I like to see these women go out there and strut it and be powerful in the face of all of that and still be feminine. That’s just something that appeals to me more. So as much as it seems misogynistic I felt the opposite – I felt liberated and very strong and I like having that type of woman portrayed. You know it’s interesting because some of the girls are topless in this – every single girl was supposed to be topless in this. You know, Jessica (Alba), myself, Brittany (Murphy), we decided not to be, it wasn’t an issue.

Q: You didn’t want to do it?
Well, they were like ‘if you want to..’ and I was like ‘well, if it’s not a big deal then I guess I won’t...’ And anyway, Clive Owen was supposed to be bottomless and I understood that he didn’t want to, he was like ‘I’m a father, I don’t want my penis on the internet..’

Q: To what degree is making a film like this a leap of faith?
Well, with Robert it’s not a leap of faith, he’s already proven himself as such a talent. He is a remarkable talent and someone I wanted to work with a long time. And having Frank Miller there, I could see that they meant it and they were gong to do it exactly like the comic. I’m like ‘OK, give me the outfit, if we’re going for it, I’m game..’ [laughs]

Q: It must be automatically transforming to put on that outfit..
[laughs] You should try it sometime, you’ll be amazed at the strut and the life that would come out of you.

Q: Your character is like the Madam of Sin City isn’t she?
Yeah, the geisha thing, a bit of the Black Widow, I like that these women are completely in control of themselves. They don’t want the pimps and the gangsters and anyone trying to push them around, because with that comes all of the problems that you think of when you think of hookers, you think of rapes and beatings and all of that. These women take care of themselves and look out for each other. They will do what a john wants up to a certain point but when they are not interested anymore they will kill you and take it. I kind of like playing someone that deliciously in control..

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