HFPA in Conversation: Rosario Dawson Goes Investigating

by Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros February 5, 2020
Actress Rosario Dawson

armando gallo/hfpa

Rosario Dawson takes us on a journey of questions in the anthology crime series Briarpatch. Actress, producer, director, and activist, Dawson started her career as a teenager in the film Kids and has been acting ever since. Now she is playing the leading role - Congress investigator and detective Allegra Dill - in the 10-episode series based on the Ross Thomas novel.

“Every question that was asked and every answer that I got from it would just lead to more questions. I don’t know who to trust, there’s something kind of peculiar about everyone, the entire world is unusual. It’s got that noir, gumshoe kind of thing,” she told HFPA journalist Gabriel Lerman.

She waited until the last minute before she read the last script. “I wanted to discover the story along with my character. I fell in love with it when we were filming the pilot. And it was a huge moment when it got picked up.
If we had not nailed it in the pilot none of us would have been there again. it just felt so profound, I’ve never had that experience before.

She was filming in New Mexico for a few months, and never acclimated to the altitude. “I was drinking chlorophyll water every day otherwise I would just get these migraines and just be really sick.”

During the production, she visited her father every other weekend. “My dad went through his cancer treatment. So every two weeks I would fly back to L.A. for his chemo and that other weekend usually I tried to do some kind of work because otherwise I was relegated to New Mexico.” They watched the first three episodes together. “He just kept saying: “This is wild, like it’s kind of Twin Peaks-ish.”

Listen to the podcast and hear what it was like working with real animals; what she has in common with her character Allegra Dill; why her mom and grandmother are very important to her; why her dad is her hero; what happened to her biological father; when did she make the decision to adopt an older child; how she prepares her daughter, Lola, for the day when she will meet her siblings who live in Mexico; when met Lola for the first time; how was it connecting with Lola years later; how was her childhood; why charity work is important to her; what she learned about the difference between activism and politics since dating Cory Booker; and whether she wants to be politically involved.