Five Favorite Films with Rosario Dawson

The star of Mark Webber's Explicit Ills also shares a story from Death Proof and admits that yes, Pluto Nash was bad.

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Rosario DawsonRosario Dawson is an actress that seems equally comfortable working on smaller, independent productions (Kids, Clerks II, and her current film Explicit Ills) as she does big-budget studio blockbusters (Men in Black II, Sin City, Eagle Eye). She recently took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with RT about her favorite movies, reveal a bet she made with Quentin Tarantino on the set of Death Proof, and admit to knowing that some movies were going to be bad even before shooting began (i.e. The Adventures of Pluto Nash).

Read on for Rosario Dawson's Five Favorite Films, and catch her in the indie drama Explicit Ills, a New York-set drama helmed by actor and first-time director Mark Webber also starring Paul Dano, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Naomie Harris. Explicit Ills is in limited release this week.



Reservoir Dogs (1992, 95% Tomatometer)
Reservoir DogsI usually have Reservoir Dogs and Rocky Horror Picture Show on my list, because I just love them so much. I did Kids, and the first film I really can remember watching specifically to look at acting after that was Reservoir Dogs.

My dad had given me the VHS tape of it to watch over and over and over again. Well, he didn't intend for me, I think, to watch it over and over and over again, but I watched it over and over again; I think I watched it like five or six times that week. I would come home from school and I would just watch it again, and memorize the whole thing, and I was just so blown away by the acting in it. It seemed like it must have had all this money, because you remember it being bloody, you remember the shock, all that kinda stuff. And then you watch it and you're like, "Actually, [Quentin Tarantino] cut around all of that." The dude with red stuff on his chest, you know what I mean? It's all acting. And it's such an interesting way of telling the story, going back and inside of itself. My dad, I'll never forget, he was like, "Watch this for the acting," and I was just blown away. So I feel like that's a piece of work that I love looking at as sort of a modern way of getting into those huge monologues, telling stories in an epic way, and the sort of more modern kind of small stories.

The Misfits (1961, 100% Tomatometer)
MisfitsAnybody who has the audacity to say that Marilyn Monroe wasn't a good actress needs to see that f***** movie. I want you to go inside and outside of a house, jumping in a box and going, "I'm in and I'm out. And I'm in and I'm out." And you believe it, that this woman is standing there, working the little thing, the whole body jiggling, the entire place mesmerized. There were just so many moments, and it's shot so beautifully, and I think it's just a remarkable film. Clark Gable in a completely different way than we've ever seen him before. It's remarkable.

Network (1976, 90% Tomatometer)
NetworkI think it's a tremendous film, and I'm waiting for everyone to finally throw open their windows and say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it any more," because it just needs to be done, and it hasn't been done yet.

Killer of Sheep (1977, 97% Tomatometer)
Killer of SheepCharles Burnett. It's a really incredible film, shot all in black and white, 1970s, it's Watts in Los Angeles. And it's this guy who works in a slaughterhouse. They put it out in theaters, I think a year and a half ago, and I raced out to go see it live. The soundtrack is just so provocative, it's so of that time. It was shot for less than $10,000...It's a remarkable, remarkable film, and when you watch it, it's just so profound.

Man on Wire (2008, 100% Tomatometer)
Man on WireIt's about Philippe Petit who walked across the World Trade Center in 1974, and it's just...you watch that movie and it's like you really get that whole [idea of] someone who did something super unique, that did something. It's just an unbelievable thing; it's so moving to watch.

That's my new favorite film right now, and having just seen it, it's so mindboggling. We don't see enough documentaries; I love watching documentaries, and obviously there are really amazing ones and all that kinda stuff. But this one, I think, is profound to watch, because the footage is unbelievable, to really just see it from all different perspectives. I remember the interview with the security guard who went upstairs, and that awe on his face, and he was like, "I came out, and there's this guy on a wire hanging between these two buildings." They're trying to get him to come off, but it's just like, he can't help himself. He's like, "It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen." And you feel that. Just to imagine having been there. I wasn't born for another five years, so I missed that, but damn, that's such an incredible thing.

I just met [Petit] recently; he's such an odd bird, he's not so comfortable in a social setting, but it's like there's an energy that comes out of him that's just like, to know you're truly unique, to feel that personally, you know? There are the geniuses that you meet in the world, and the Quentin Tarantinos and stuff like that. You could talk to him, and he's like, "I know I'm a genius!" It's amazing. But there's a whole other level, where you've done it physically...everything else must seem so small. [laughs] Or maybe big, actually, you know?




Next: Dawson shares a Tarantino moment from the set of Death Proof, reminisces on the great directors she's worked with, and admits that she knew Pluto Nash was a bad idea

More Five Favorite Films:


Carla Gugino
Bill Pullman
Jerry Bruckheimer
Danny Boyle
Robert Pattinson

Click here for our Five Favorite Films archive

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