It's a well-known fact that Rosario Dawson is a hardcore gamer -- especially when it comes to first-person shooters -- so it's no surprise she was at the Activision booth at E3 to promote "Call of Duty: Black Ops III." (Check out the new multiplayer trailer below.) However, it wasn't until I got to chat with Dawson at the event that I realized just how much she loved video games (namely the "blowing up stuff" part).
Additionally, we also talked about female representation in video games, her voice role in the upcoming "Ratchet & Clank" movie, and -- of course -- the copious geeking out at E3.
MTV News: Is this your first E3, or have you done them before?
Rosario Dawson: I've done them before, but awhile back. I'm more used to doing the Comic-Cons and all the other cons, but this is a whole other thing. The gaming ones are way more fun. It's an interesting thing, actually. I was thinking about it, comparing them, and you can navigate through these ones differently, better. Because unlike cons, which are less interactive -- they're much more just about people-watching and seeing what's happening and what's coming out -- this is everyone getting ahead of the curve, getting to play games that aren't even out yet. People are losing their minds, and they're so stuck to the screens. Like, I could walk by topless, and no one would even notice!
MTV: [Laughs] Right, yeah. You don't have to wear a mask or anything.
Dawson: Yeah, I don't have to wear a mask like at the other cons. Usually, I have to wear a mask, but over here I can kind of get through without a problem. Everyone's just geeking out like, "Must keep lines open! Must keep playing until they kick me out!"
MTV: So have you gotten a chance to play "Call of Duty: Black Ops III" yet?
Dawson: Yeah, it was pretty bangin'. It's multiplayer, too, which I'm not used to playing. I had played it before, and I just did single-player. It's a whole other experience, but it's fun to go in as a team. It got me really excited and thinking I've really got to play my brother and my uncle.
MTV: Nice! And you'd played the Call of Duty games before, right?
Dawson: I'd played the first one, yeah. So this was a whole revelation, because the world is just that much more articulated and huge and explosions. I was making fun of myself because it felt like I was panting. I was like, "I'm not really running," but I think you're holding your breath, and you're going in and blowing up stuff. It's super exciting. I was kind of getting a little ghetto actually at some points. I was like, "Yeah, take that! Eat it! In yo face!" [Laughs] You can't help yourself but get into it. You get hyped, yeah.
MTV: There's some crazy stuff in this one too: giant mechs, mini-gun hands, zombies... What would you say is the most exciting thing you've seen in this game?
Dawson: There was this kind of little pad where you could go in there and blow up stuff, and you're able to take out a bunch of robots at the same time -- because you have all this different weaponry, which is really great. But there was this disk or something, like a little pad, and I was able to blow up the entire area. It's like what you would imagine will be the new weaponry we're going to have in the future, because there's also robots and things like that. There's just so many more levels it can get to, so it's not just grenades and shooting. So that was pretty dope, because at the end of it we were going bit by bit, kinda piecemeal, and all of a sudden you find this thing that just levels the whole place. It's like, "EAT THAT!" [Laughs] You get really intense with it.
Also, another thing that was really cool -- and I know there are a couple other games that did this this year -- is that there's a female character that you can play in single-player and in multiplayer now, which I think is really great. Because I have female family members that are in the military, and they're badass. You're seeing a lot more women in combat now, so it makes sense that you would see that in the game. I think that's going to draw in a whole other level of people, which is pretty cool.
MTV: Speaking of female characters in video games, I know you've also voiced characters in video games, and I think your last game credit was in Syndicate, right?
Dawson: Mhmm, and we're going to be doing one for "Ratchet & Clank" now too. I'm actually doing the voice for the movie, and they just said they're going to be doing the game... They were like, "If you can't do [the game], we'll just find someone who can mimic your voice." And I was like, "Uh, no!" Because it's different. When you're doing animated stuff, you're actually just doing the scene -- and it's really amazing and really fun, and you keep coming back because it's animated. It's this four or five-year process, and it's really interesting to watch it develop, and that's really fun.
But with games, you get to do all of that extra stuff. You have all the alternate sayings that you have to do. My favorites are always the ones where you know the person's put down the controller to go to the bathroom or something, so the characters are kind of shuffling like, "We have to go right I said!" or whatever. Those are the ones that crack me up.
MTV: I also love those many different grunts and war cries you inevitably have to record for combat.
Dawson: Yeah, and you always save that towards the end. So you do all the fight sequence stuff and getting punched and punching things and blowing up stuff like, "[Death cry]!" You know, just cartoon voices. I love that stuff.
MTV: You mentioned earlier that you don't really like playing multiplayer in games. Would you say the campaigns are your favorite part?
Dawson: Yeah, because I'm just selfish, and I like to play by myself. Usually, for me, I'm playing late at night after a day of work, or the holidays, and I'm kind of binge-playing the way that people binge-watch TV. So I don't get to recreationally play the way that my brother or other people do. They're all playing from different cities and playing together. I can just never seem to synchronize that, because I'm always in some part of the world where everyone's asleep. So I just don't ever really think about it, but "Black Ops III" actually got me going. I got so hyped!