Rosario Dawson has been working in the entertainment industry for sixteen years. She was only 15 when the director of Kids, Larry Clark, spotted her sitting on her stoop and gave her a role in the film about young teenagers exploring sex, drugs and getting in to trouble in a post-HIV New York City.
Since her big break, Dawson has remained politically active and unafraid to voice her opinions. Alongside analyst and frequent MSNBC commentator Maria Teresa Kumar, she founded VotoLatino.org, an organization to get young Latinos registered to vote and remain politically engaged. She recently chatted with Mother Jones’ Elizabeth Gettelman and talked activism, telenovelas and her addiction to Twitter.
Below are some excerpts and visit MotherJones.com for the full interview:
On Hollywood and activism:
MJ: Why do you suppose that actors work so hard to remain apolitical?
RD: From Marilyn Monroe and beyond, that’s a huge part of Hollywood, creating a persona that’s mysterious and fairly simple, though it’s interesting how that’s changing: Now, you have fans who are like, “Um, yeah, I just emailed with Barack Obama and tweeted with Lady Gaga, so I’m kinda right there with you; give it to me.” I get that people are a little allergic to celebrities using their voices, but I grew up a squatter on the Lower East Side, so it’s kind of a given that I’d have very strong opinions on everything from cyclical violence to teenage pregnancy to environmental justice.
On Twitter changing the world:
Go ahead and read the whole thing over at Mother Jones. It’s always good to support entertainers who know how to use their celebrity in a responsible way.
MJ: Any hashtag you wish would take the Twitterverse by storm?
RD: Maybe #acceptance. I feel like we pay a lot of attention to the word “tolerance,” and I don’t really like it. I get it, but I don’t need you to tolerate this. It is. When you accept something, it’s much deeper.