Rosario Dawson is really mean to Vanessa Hudgens in Gimme Shelter, the new drama about a teenager that flees her abusive mother and ends up in a pickle when her father rejects her too.
Based on a true story, the film directed by Ron Krauss is the story of June Bailey (Dawson), who is a crack-addicted prostitute with a 16-year-old pregnant daughter Apple (Vanessa Hudgens) who would rather run away from her and be homeless than live at home another day.
When June tracks down Apple and confronts her about leaving, she does something horrific.
“Desperate people will do desperate things. I attack her with a razor in my mouth in church, slicing her cheek,” Rosario Dawson said.
“It’s not something made up.” said writer-director Krauss and because he came from a documentary background, it was important for him to be completely realistic and honest and be as clear as possible “because it involves real people.”
Rosario Dawson herself had a tough but loving upbringing and for her it was interesting to realize a lot of things she has actually seen in her life.
“I’m a ’79 baby and was raised by a teenage mom on the Lower East Side in a squat. Growing up in the ’80s in a crack neighborhood, I’ve seen drug addiction.
“My mom worked at women’s shelters since I was young, so I grew up with that. That’s one reason I work with a girl’s club. I was raised in a house of love. My mom was pregnant at 16 but never talked about her sacrifices. I never went to sleep feeling I wasn’t loved.
“June has been neglected, and each choice marginalized her more and more. It was a pleasure to show that type of human being and that kind of struggle.”
The reason that Rosario Dawson took the role was that it reflected many experiences she had lived in her own life growing up:
“We both (Dawson and Hudgens) had to go for it, and if she hadn’t gone all the way, what I was doing would just seem cartoonish and vice versa. When we were going to do this, we were on our way to Cannes – and talk about indulgence and all the glamour, beauty, partying on boats, fabulous dresses and so on! – and suddenly we’re in this motel and I’m barefoot and I’m attacking her, and we’re in it. But that’s what you want as an actor, to challenge yourself.”
Rosario Dawson said her mom worked in a women’s shelter in San Francisco when she was 10 and for Gimme Shelter they filmed in the actual shelter.
“It was remarkable.” said Rosario Dawson who is marking 20 years of being an actress, but is always auditioning and looking for new roles.