In British director Danny Boyle’s new film “Trance,” Rosario Dawson plays hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb. She’s a gutsy woman who creates a link among reality, fiction, dream and impulse – in short, she’s anything but a woman who relies on her sexuality to chase the end to a seemingly endless puzzle.
In fact, speaking to reporters at a recent roundtable in Los Angeles, Dawson is quick to describe her role in the conspiracy thriller as a woman who “is incredibly dynamic and strong and who holds her own with these men who are incredibly dangerous – someone who does it without going into the obviously, sort of cliché, femme fatale [way] of using her sexuality and her wiles.”
Dawson – who has appeared in more than 50 films since emerging in Hollywood just over 15 years ago – said that now, more than ever, she finds roles like Elizabeth “incredibly compelling.”
Still, the film is very much about its male ensemble – including James McAvoy as art auctioneer Simon and Vincent Cassel as gang leader Franck – making Dawson’s character even more integral to the story.
“You can see it in the script to a certain degree, that this is a film with a woman at the center of it,” said Dawson of the movie now in theaters nationwide. “But it’s definitely a boy’s film at the same time. And I think that’s kind of great about it, that there are a lot of misleads throughout …I really liked that.”
Even so, Dawson – whose on-screen personas have ranged from quirky (Becky in “Clerks II”) to tragic (Mimi in “Rent”) – is quick to admit she wishes she had more in common with her “smart” character.
“Her composure was amazing to me,” explained Dawson. “It was alarming and kind of arrogant, I thought … the bravery of her going ‘I have odds that I need to beat and I am going to rely on no one else but me.’”
“Trance” is just the latest in a string of girl-power roles for Dawson, who told reporters that she’s intent on being part of stories that put women first. Not only will Dawson appear in films like the upcoming “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” and “Raze,” but she’s also going to concentrate on producing more films as well.
“There are very specific ones that I’m in the process of developing,” said Dawson. “They definitely have historical aspects to them and they have, quite often, women at the center of the story because I just don’t feel like I’m seeing enough of that and it’s, just a little boring. I love watching movies and I love all types of movies – I grew up watching ‘Conan’ so it’s not to say that women aren’t interested in the whole spectrum of films, but it’s shocking to see how there’s so little for us.”
After all, says Dawson, women deserve “different types of entertainment.”
“We shouldn’t have to feel like we can only watch prostitutes.”
Check out Dawson in action as Elizabeth Lamb in “Trance.”