Rosario Dawson stars alongside funnyman Chris Rock in the highly anticipated comedy Top Five. With a cast that also includes Kevin Hart, Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan and Gabrielle Union, the film boasts some impressive star power; but Dawson says that Rock had to work hard to get her to commit to the role of journalist Chelsea Brown.
“He says that I auditioned him,” Dawson says with a sheepish grin. She admits that she had reservations about the character, originally. “With Chelsea, I felt that was the one character who wasn’t perfectly on the page. I saw what she could potentially be — but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t feel like I read her perfectly. I felt everybody else so clearly, [and] her voice felt like what needed to be there in so many scenes but I wasn’t really sure who she was.
“And I couldn’t put my finger on it and it made me nervous! When you jump on something and people say ‘Yeah, we’ll fix it — we’ll rewrite it later …’ and you show [up] and nothing happens and you’re making this movie and people are like ‘Why did you suck in this movie?’ and you’re like ‘I tried! [laughs].”
She’s appeared in comedies such as Clerks II and Josie & the Pussycats, but Dawson explains that this film required her to be more comedically invested than she has before.
“It wasn’t my comfort zone at all,” the veteran actress admits. “There were many times when Chris would look at me and say ‘I know what you’re thinking — you’re scared right now. But I got you. You’re wondering what happened to your career, how’d you wind up here and what did you do wrong? It’s all right. I got you. It’s OK.'”
Dawson jokes about her co-star, but she has nothing but praise for Rock as a director.
“I trusted him to tune my instrument,” she says. “But he also let me do my thing and have my solo and make my mark.”