ROSE MCGOWAN VS. HOLLYWOOD
PLUS, THE STORY BEHIND HER ACCIDENTAL TWEET.
At this past Sundance, Rose McGowan wowed audiences with “Dawn,” a short film about a young, overprotected girl (Tara Lynn Barr) in 1961 who sneaks off with a possibly dangerous boy. And she’s hardly done. The actress of “Scream,” “The Doom Generation” and “Charmed” is still acting; as of now, she has five gigs lined up. But she says she feels more at home directing, including the feature “The Pines,” now in preproduction. You can watch “Dawn” on her YouTube channel.
You still have acting jobs coming up, but do you feel you have less passion for acting, especially now that you’re directing?
The thing is, I never did. I just happened to be good at it. I would get to sets and think, “What happened? I’m in the wrong world.” It’s like when you read a book and then you see how it’s been made on the screen, and it’s completely odd to you because that’s not at all how you saw it. That’s how almost every experience is like to me. I have a very active brain that needs constant data and emotion. And I was dying.
Short films haven’t always been easy to market, but right now, with streaming services, it’s easier than ever to get shorts seen.
To be honest, when we did it, it didn’t occur to me that anybody would see it. I just had to do it. It just didn’t occur to me. I do that with the things I’ve acted in; it doesn’t occur to me for me to even go see them. They’re just things I did one time and let’s move on. But this is actually my voice. It’s nice to be heard.
Have you been the type of actor who bugs directors to see how they did it?
No, I watched. I didn’t learn from them what to do; I learned what not to do. The directors I liked and respected, they had their own thing. I’m not going to copy it. That’s silly. On days I wasn’t acting, I would work with the gaffers, I would work with the art department. I did the production design on “Dawn.” I have a film education that is second to none. I’ve spent over 57,000 hours on set. You can’t really f— with me.
Someone told you they threw up after watching “Dawn.” Was it the intensity of the ending?
It also affects women who were in that era greatly. There was a woman who saw it, and she called me, crying, because that was her life. It’s what we do to girls and women without even realizing it — these tiny things we say. You open a magazine and it says “How to Be on a Date,” and it’s by a little guy in a closet giving you advice. And it f—s you up. We’re sending girls into the world, still, largely unprotected and in ways meant to subvert their own survival instinct. So what happens when you’re a lamb with your hands tied and you meet a wolf? What happens?
Tara Lynne Barr plays a young teen in Rose McGowan’s short “Dawn,” which you can watch on YouTube.