Rosario Dawson agreed to play a poverty-stricken single mother in new movie EXPLICIT ILLS as a tribute to her own mum, who was a struggling teen when the actress was born.
Dawson was brought up in a squat in Manhattan, New York's lower east side, by her mother Isabel and father Greg.
The Sin City star admits she found it tough playing the poor, single mum of a sick kid in the film, but she was able to draw inspiration from her own experiences.
Dawson tells, "I'm this young mother, I'm uneducated, I'm inexperienced and I have zero resources. I grew up in an area where I know so many women who are like that and that was the story I wanted to tell. My mum was 17 when she had me."
The battle with asthma her character's son faces in the movie also made some scenes tough for Dawson.
She adds, "It was very profound for me because my mum is asthmatic and she lives far away from me. I think about that all the time. I've seen her in situations where she couldn't breathe. We get out of a car and we're in a neighborhood that has really bad smog and she totally just can not breathe. It's such a helpless feeling to be in front of."