Rosario Dawson Talks The North Pole and Opens Up About Her Relationship With Her Mom and Daughter
Rosario Dawson is excited about the second season of The North Pole, returning September 10. “It's a show about four friends in North Oakland,” the actress, who is the co-executive producer of the series, tells People CHICA. “The story line connects a lot of different issues, everything from environmental justice to immigration issues. “These different characters are struggling to pay rent, they are recognizing how the community is changing around them, and they are figuring out how best to support themselves and each other under capitalism, under threats of white nationalism, deportation, wildfires everywhere, and health issues. It's a brilliant show created by an awesome organization called Movement Generation.” In addition to tackling all those issues, Dawson says the show presents voices that need to be amplified to make positive changes in society.
The actress — of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent — also opened up about her relationship with her 16-year-old daughter, Lola Dawson, whom she adopted in 2014. “My daughter is definitely her own person. She came to live with me when she was 11 years old, and she has gone through so many things being in foster care. I'm very protective of her,” she says. “She is an incredibly caring and loving person and doesn't necessarily want to be like mommy on a microphone shouting out the things that are vital to the community, but I know that she loves animals, she loves children, she cares about health issues and family and she is a really brilliant artist. That could be her way of contributing — just her being, her whole self is compelling. Women of color and women who have gone through the kinds of things she has gone through are supposed to be quiet and just be thankful, and in so many different places in the world don't get respect or access to a lot of things, and that's not her story.”
Dawson also reflected about her close bond with her mother, Isabel Celeste. “When I think of The North Pole show I think of her a lot, because my mom was always involved in social issues. She was part of the first recycling center in New York, she used to work getting houses for people with HIV and AIDS and who are homeless. My mom worked in this organization for women who were fleeing violence with their children and needing help after being abused,” she recalls. “I was 10 years old when she was working there, and I remember those stories of women leaving in the middle of the night with their children because their husbands started hitting them and they didn't have a bank account or a job, as it often happens in abusive relationships. They were cut off from their families. They were at a crossroads where they were knocking at a door and a stranger was opening it and they were asking for help. That stranger that opened that door was my mom, because she cared and she tried. When I look at these stories, I see that humanity. I love these stories of everyday people trying to live their best lives.”
Dawson admits her mother's life has deeply impacted her own trajectory as an actress and her work as an activist who stands up for human rights, immigration reform and sustainability, among other issues. “There is a lot more power that we have as a community in addressing these issues than we think we do,” she concludes. “There is power in amplifying our voices and telling our story.”