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INT: Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson stars in ALEXANDER as the legendary conqueror’s first wife, Roxane. Historians are still puzzled as to Alexander’s motives for marrying the young Persian woman. A foreigner without no real diplomatic connections, she was the subject of much resentment among Alexander’s officers. In the film, Oliver Stone posits his own theory as he features Dawson in a pretty smokin’ love scene with Colin Farrell. If the real Roxane looked anything like Rosario Dawson does in this movie, all speculation ends there.

Rosario made her big screen debut in a delightful little movie called KIDS. Look for it in the Children’s section of your local Blockbuster. Other film credits include HE GOT GAME and JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. She was also in an Edward Burns film, but we won’t hold that against her. She stopped by the St. Regis hotel in Los Angeles last week to talk about her experience working on ALEXANDER, opening this Friday.

ROSARIO DAWSON

How much fun was it to make this film?

I had an amazing time making this and thankfully the movie actually is so brilliant that it’s an experience for other people to have. I think it’s…well it’s not necessary a worry, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, I remember my first experience when I got He Got Game, I was auditioning for it and I was so excited and I was like, “I think I’m gonna get this movie and it’s Denzel Washington and Spike Lee,” and everyone’s like, “Yeah, ok.”  And then a year later, it was like, “Oh my God, you worked with Spike Lee and Denzel Washington,” and I’m like, “Yeah, I told you that a year ago.”

And it’s sort of like that same experience. I’m in it and I’m having such an incredible time and I’m telling people and then it’s like, when the movie comes out it’s going to be a whole year from now and is it going to be what you expect and the way that you’ve memorized it in your head and the experience that you’ve had and how it’s touched you and how you’ve evolved since then? Is that gonna show up there? Is any of it actually captured on celluloid? Thankfully, especially with someone like Oliver, you don’t have to worry about that. Everybody just made an incredible movie and everything that we did is there and beyond.

Especially with the love scene.

It’s so funny – it’s actually more uncomfortable for people bringing it up to me than it was for me to do it. (laughs) It’s always a delicate sort of phrasing; it’s so funny. I was definitely out there. It was very interesting. It wasn’t originally written as that. It’s actually what we came up with when we were rehearsing it. So, we all sort of collaborated on that and (decided) that that was going to be the best way to execute that scene and what their relationship was and juxtaposing that to his relationship with Hephaistion and with Olympias and his father.

It was a very short period of time to get across a lot of information, especially with her character, because there’s so many things going on and so much that was already cut out, because it’s just impossible to do unless you’re trying to make some 25 hour historical epic. It’s like, what do we do?  What do we leave out?  What do we put in?  How do we convey certain things in a very short period of time?  There was very little dialogue to begin with, but it ended up being even less.  And a lot more of the physical, which I think made sense, because it highlights some of the more emotional qualities with other people and the more conversational qualities with other people and it really helped to kind of…I think it definitely services the story to show what his life was like and all the different bumps and grinds and…(laughs)

.

Good choice of words.

Thanks.

But it starts out pretty intense – almost like a rape scene.

In the very beginning it’s intense, yeah. And it’s scary, because you know from seeing what he is like so far that he is not that person.  Maybe he is, but most likely he’s not that person. Yes, he has killed thousands of people and he’s gone through what he’s done, but he also wept over one soldier. This is someone who is a much more complex guy than just a tyrant. From what she knows – she’s a young girl who has just been married to this guy with this huge legacy already before him, the king of most of the known world, known as the son of a god, who is considered a deity as being Pharoah of Egypt, and it’s like, “Who could this man possibly be?”

And he marries her; he doesn’t make her a concubine. He comes in and he’s aggressive and she’s like, “Listen, I don’t know what’s going on here, this is a scary situation.  I’m out.” And he grabs her and he very much could rape her and that could be their entire relationship, but instead it’s like, “No. I’m not gonna let you do anything that I’m not ok with. And I’m gonna make sure you respect me. You married me to be your queen and you’re going to treat me like so.” Which is a very special thing coming from such a young girl. This is a young girl who barely knows the language, doesn’t know much about the culture, who is now going to have to leave her entire family and everything she knows to go off with this man who she does not know, who could be anybody.

And everybody around her hates her. It’s very palpable how much she’s disliked. She knows she’s not going to have any friends and she draws the line (with Alexander), “I’ll do everything else but this.  I refuse to be mistreated by you.” She draws that line and he respects it and that’s the fire in her that he really loves. And that’s what kind of creates their bond and their relationship and that also, I think, shows the problem within their relationship: she’s far more judgmental than he is.

How much do we really know about Roxane?

Very little information is extant on Roxane, and what is there is very contentious. Some people say it was just because it was a good political move – he was able to move more freely within those regions to get through the tribes, because he was warring a lot during that time and everything single time he’d go two feet, there was another tribe he’d have to fight, and that helped him kind of keep moving through. And some say it was because of love, and they met and it was powerful, beautiful love. Some say it was just because he wanted an heir, but it was heir that a lot of his companions weren’t even sure that they would want to accept, because she wasn’t racially pure.

She was considered a barbarian; she wasn’t Macedonian or Greek. They were not cool with this whole situation. On top of that, she still maintained her dignity and her strength for several years after that, despite the fact that she didn’t give him an heir. And I think that’s one of the interesting things, playing between the alikeness between Olympias and Roxane – Olympias was very prideful of the fact that she’s from the royal blood of Achilles and also that she has the son of a God. But Roxane didn’t have that.  She didn’t have the leverage of having given him a son or an heir. That marriage was a complete failure. And it was a blight on him. It was very difficult, but he still kept her with him throughout his entire rest of his career. It was a very powerful thing and she still maintained her regalness and her respect. As unrefined she was in comparison to Olympias, she still demanded to be treated as a queen. It was really interesting playing someone like that who ultimately must have only been like 19 or 20 by the time he died.

Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at [email protected].

Source: JoBlo.com

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