Rosario Dawson was born May 9, 1979, in New York City. She was raised
in a Manhattan tenement building by her Bronx-born mother, a professional
vocalist, and her father, who worked in construction. Although Rosario's
parents separated when she was still young, they continued to live
in the same building, allowing Rosario and her brother to remain
close to them.
Dawson attended an alternative school in downtown
Manhattan, where she harboured aspirations of one day becoming a
marine biologist. When she reached age 15, however, Dawson's career
plans unexpectedly changed. She was literally cast off the street
for the role of Ruby in the 1995 production Kids, after director
Larry Clark spotted her on the stoop of her apartment building.
Kids depicts 24 hours in the life of a group of New York street
kids and the havoc that runs through their lives.
Kids went on to become a controversial hit, and Dawson
opted out of her college plans, choosing instead to attend the Lee
Strasberg Theatre Institute.
The training Dawson received at the Strasberg Institute
complemented the publicity that Kids had earned her, and it wasn't
long before she received her second casting call, this time from
Spike Lee for his 1998 film, He Got Game.
That same year she appeared in Side Streets, which
features a series of vignettes depicting life throughout New York
Over the course of the next few years, Dawson appeared
in three more small-time films: as an honour student held hostage
in Light It Up, a pothead in Down to You, and a bully in King of
the Jungle. Although none of these projects were box-office hits,
they provided Dawson with the exposure crucial to a young actress,
and the jobs kept coming.
Her next role was as bassist Valerie Brown in 2001's
feature film, Josie and the Pussycats. Despite the slew of publicity
Josie and the Pussycats enjoyed preceding its release, the movie
was a disappointment both critically and popularly. Nonetheless,
the mass marketing of the film translated well for Dawson, who soon
found herself on the "hot new faces" lists of entertainment
publications throughout the country.
Before the end of 2001, she managed to appear in three
more movies: Sidewalks of New York, Trigger Happy and Chelsea Walls,
an Ethan Hawke production.
In 2002 she played Dina Lake, a beautiful earthling
who has travelled to the moon to further her singing ambitions in
The Adventures of Pluto. This role cast her opposite Eddie Murphy.
then starred opposite Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the hit
sequel Men in Black II.
Dawson was last seen on the big screen starring in
the critically acclaimed Spike Lee film, The 25th Hour, opposite
Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper.
Between films, Rosario Dawson juggles a relationship
with Dawson's Creek star Joshua Jackson and a growing proficiency
at guitar, which has been aided by lessons from one-time co-star
She recently signed on to star in writer/director
Oliver Stone's upcoming epic "Alexander" playing opposite
Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie. Dawson will play Roxane, Alexander's
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