Rosario Dawson Has The Best Advice For Young Actors

Photo: Billy Farrell Agency.
Your suspicions were correct: Everyone you've ever heard of was — and still is — at SXSW. That includes Rosario Dawson, who, in addition to Laura Dern and Freida Pinto, spoke at Neiman Marcus' Make Some Noise party on Rainey Street last week. The theme of the three-day event was "Bold Women Bold Voices," and Dawson proved to be just that as she charmed the audience with her tales of getting her comic book artist Uncle Gus canned for hanging out on the Sin City set, and why female superheroes need some more love. She should know — she's set to star in Netflix's Daredevil. She'll also be returning for Kevin Smith's Clerks 3, currently in pre-production ("Well, I think so," she joked. "He [Smith] said I was. I better be. I want to see what Becky is up to!" 
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Long before all that, though, Dawson was a young starlet who appeared on Sesame Street before making her film debut in 1995's gritty lock-up-your-children drama, Kids. As a former child star herself — and, reportedly the adoptive mother of a 12-year-old girl — the Top Five star struck us as the perfect person to seek advice on not only empowering women, but empowering youngsters as well. 

"At that age, actually, youth gives us a level of confidence — it's naivety," she explained to us in an interview backstage. "But, our brains don't change until we're 25, so we're risk-takers. It's sort of built into our chemistry to take risks. I would say to young people just to take those risks, but try to be a little calculated about them, and at the very least, try to have some mentors, people that you can bounce some ideas off of and talk to.

"We can't help it when we're young," she added. "We're like 'I'm going to reinvent the wheel!' You don't have to do it, you actually don't. You can forge a path, but it's good to make sure you're there with people around you. If you fall, you want them to help you up. And, if you get to go to the highest heights, you want them there to celebrate with you. It's just really important to have people along the way."

The 35-year-old, clad in a beautifully bold Studio One Eighty Nine outfit, cited her favorite quote, courtesy of Dan Eldon: "the journey is the destination." In other words, it's important to understand what steps need to be taken to reach those lofty goals.
"When we're young we think, 'I just want to be a star, I want to be this,'" she told us. "We have this thing that we want in the future that we're really compromising ourselves for in the interim, or really trying to please every body and then we get there… You've got to be very thoughtful about how you get to where you want to go. You can get there, but it might feel really empty if the journey you took to get there was not the one that spoke to your heart and mind.

"Confidence is also a really big deal, but it's hard," Dawson continued. "Sometimes we have that fake confidence and we brave it, but I think what's really important is to have those people to bounce ideas off. You might totally disagree with everyone in your community, but it's really good to have that back-and-forth. You don't want to hear it when you're reading an article later or scrolling through the comments and hating yourself. That's how you really have that confidence, when you've really looked at it through every facet and thought, 'I'm still doing that, it's still what I want to do.'"

Bookmark this, kiddos. The lady knows what she's talking about — and she's got the IMDB page to prove it.  
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