Like her “Unstoppable” co-stars Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson put in serious time and research to prepare for her role in the Tony Scott thriller about a runaway train. Dawson says she had the opportunity to meet with a real-life inspiration for her character: a female rail-yard manager.
“We had a great opportunity, we found this amazing woman, Mary Alexander,” Dawson recently told MTV News. Dawson said she got to pick Alexander’s brain, and peppered her with questions about proper rail-yard vernacular, protocol and technical terminology.
In the film, opening Friday, Dawson plays Connie, a headstrong rail-yard manager who, along with Pine and Washington’s characters , goes up against her corporate bosses in an attempt to stop a train loaded with explosive chemicals from careening into a small town.
“To do that and know it was a woman who went through it, I was like, ‘How did you work your way up? What did that feel like?’ ” she recalled asking Alexander. “You get those obvious clichéd things about a woman working in a men’s industry, but you also get this [explanation]: ‘Listen, this is a high-stakes situation, this doesn’t happen every day but when it does, you want capable people to be there.’
“To be someone composed and a leader in that, that’s what I wanted Connie to be,” Dawson added. “Not just a cool, spunky woman or a bitchy aggressive woman, but just the right person for the job.”
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