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Rosario Dawson explores life as a cancer patient in ‘The Water Man’ (video)

Rosario Dawson explores life as a cancer patient in 'The Water Man' (video)
David Oyelowo and Rosario Dawson in The Water Man. (Photo credit: Karen Ballard)

In her role in the new fantasy-driven film The Water Man, Rosario Dawson portrays a mother who is dying from leukemia while trying to hold her family together. The film also stars the brilliant David Oyelowo as her husband and Lonnie Chavis (“This Is Us”) as the couple’s young son. The Water Man, which opens in theaters Friday, May 7, 2021, is Oyelowo’s directorial debut.

In The Water Man, your character, Mary, is dealing with leukemia and walking through her terminal illness with her young son. How does she do that, knowing that the concept of death is something the entire family is faced with?

We see Mary trying to maximize the joy with her son and with her family because she feels that ticking clock. Rather than it being sad all the time, she really tries to muster the energy to have as much beauty as she can [to] be a part of his memory of her. I believe parents right now can really relate with everything — from how this quarantine has affected our kids, to the protests and to seeing the live footage and constant footage of trauma … and abuse and violence, and then not speaking to them about it and trying to dance around some of the subject matter without realizing exactly how much [their kids are] being affected by it.

Rosario Dawson explores life as a cancer patient in 'The Water Man' (video)
Rosario Dawson and Lonnie Chavis in The Water Man. (Photo credit: Karen Ballard)

The film also explores how a husband and wife are challenged to live out their marriage vows “through sickness and health.” How is Mary dealing with her husband’s response to her illness?

I think Mary has played a pivotal role in this family for a long time and filling in the gaps where her husband is not showing up. There is the lack of intimacy, the lack of trust, and it’s something she doesn’t let him get away with. You can understand when tragedy hits, it’s natural to want to ignore it and not want to address it in hopes that it goes away. But you have to give people that chance to show up and outwardly express how they are feeling internally.

Continued on the next page.

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