On an amusing meme by some anonymous genius, Rosario Dawson's Marvel character Claire Temple/Night Nurse is referred to with reverence as the "fourth Defender" (sorry, Iron Fist). Its a title that’s well deserved. With her widened presence in Marvel's shared-TV universe of Netflix shows, which includes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Defenders, Dawson plays Temple — the mild-mannered everywoman that sorta holds this whole world together.
A recurring role in a quintet of comic book-based TV shows is actually more than enough to earn Dawson the enviable position being bestowed here as the Queen of the Nerdiverse, but her resume as an actress is stuffed to the gills with more geekery than Neil Degrasse Tyson can shake a pocket protector at. I'll expound.
Take Me To Your Leader
For starters, in Men in Black II she played Twister with bug-eyed aliens. Have you ever played Twister with bug-eyed aliens? Has Will Smith? Has Scarlett Johansson? Has anyone else on Planet Earth played Twister with bug-eyed aliens? No? Well, that's reason enough to justify #RosarioDawson as the reigning regent of the Nerdiverse. But I'm barely getting started. Hold my root beer.
For over fifteen years, the New York-born actress has invaded the daydreams of nerds, geeks and comic book freaks by mostly being herself. From keeping a filled-to-capacity Comic-Con crowd entertained while director Kevin Smith’s car was stuck in traffic, to recently announcing her desire to play the lightsaber wielding Ashoka from Star Wars if a live-action version is ever brought to the big screen, Dawson is the grown-up girl-next-door and so much more.
Vulcan Nerd Pinch
She's a smokin' hot actress (see: #LukeCage) with a formidable range of talent as an actress, producer and writer. What's more, despite the fact Dawson's never once appeared in an episode of Star Trek, the self-professed Trekkie has also demonstrated an impressive familiarity with Klingon vocabulary. See for yourself:
That display alone makes the case put forth in this post, but I've got 13 more reasons why Rosario Dawson the undisputed queen of the Nerdiverse. Read on and prosper.
1. Valerie Brown, Josie And The Pussycats (2001)
Everything starts somewhere, of course, and the love affair with Rosario "R2D2" Dawson (Okay, I just made that up) began for many of us with the 2001 film Josie and Pussycats. This live-action film, based upon the Archie Comics comic book and 1970s Saturday morning cartoon, also starred two other actresses — whose names ain't even worth googling now —but the real star here was Dawson's purrfect Valerie Brown.
2. Laura Vasquez, Men In Black II (2002)
As mentioned above, in the sci-fi action comedy Men in Black II, Dawson was a Twister-playin' showstopper as Agent Kay's half-alien lovechild Laura. At the time, the actress professed to be a real-life pro at the retro party game, but admitted that filming the scene was a challenge because, as she put it: "Butt work is really difficult. It was really uncomfortable," she further revealed, "but I had a really good time."
3. Gail, Sin City (2005)
Rosie the Riveting (I've got nicknames for days) was also a showstopper in the 2005 film Sin City, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name. Here Dawson plays Gail, the leader of a gang of badass "ladies of the night." The actress returned to the role again for the long-awaited 2014 sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. This movie, however, failed to live up to the greatness of the first, but Dawson’s Gail was just as amazing.
4. Sophia Ortiz, O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce (2006)
Here's a fun little factoid: Josie and the Pussycats, Sin City and even Men in Black were all films based on comic books, right? But did you know that Dawson, herself a fan of comics, was the co-creator of the 2006 comic book miniseries O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce? The actress also co-wrote and starred (by way of her likeness) as occult crimes investigator Sophia Ortiz. Dimension Films acquired the film rights in 2006 and there was also talk of a possible A&E TV show in 2012, but a live-action version seems to have given up the ghost, sadly.
5. Anna Diaz, Gemini Division (2008)
Although Dawson takes rolls in bigger films like the exploitation thriller Death Proof and the Kleenex-soaking Seven Pounds, she never turns her back on jobs that speak to her inner geek. In NBC's made-for-streaming online series Gemini Division, she played undercover NYPD officer Anna Diaz, who gets drawn into a covert war between human clones and the top secret Gemini group. Made up of 50 five-to-seven minute long episodes, it was available for binge watching at NBC.com.
6. Velvet Von Black, The Haunted World Of El Superbeasto (2009)
As an actress with a slew of acclaimed dramatic roles to her credit, you wouldn’t think that as a voice actress Dawson could also strike comic gold. But as the foul-mouthed, chain-smoking stripper Velvet Von Black in the animated feature The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (based on the comic book by Rob Zombie), Dawson is 24-karat hilarious. It's almost mind-boggling how good she is in this adults-only "exploitation musical black comedy horror film." If I hadn't already committed to providing 13 reasons, this entry would be the mic drop.
7. Nyx, Tinker Bell And The Legend Of The NeverBeast (2014)
"Wu-Tang is for the children," or so goes ODB's famous saying, and Ms. Dawson is for the children, too! In 2014, the actress provided the voice to Nyx in Disney's Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast. Little good girls? Big bad girls? Bring 'em on! Awesome Dawson does it all.
8. Artemis, Wonder Woman (2009)
In the course of doing it all, Dawson also brought her distinctive voice acting talents to the 2009 direct-to-DVD animated superhero film Wonder Woman. Here the actress portrayed the Amazon warrior Artemis of Bana-Mighdall. As you'll see in a bit, this stellar performance was only the beginning in relation to DC Comics Amazons.
9. Claire Temple, Daredevil (2015)
Dawson's aforementioned Night Nurse/Claire Temple is the only character who has appeared in all five of Marvel's superhero shows on Netflix: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders. As such, it's probably time that Marvel gives our friendly neighborhood Night Nurse her own Netflix show, comic book and action figure – stat!
10. Wonder Woman, Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis (2015)
Quite fittingly, in addition to giving voice to the Amazon warrior Artemis in 2009, Dawson has assumed the role of Princess Diana, too. In 2015's direct-to-video animated superhero film Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, she breathed life into Wonder Woman, and reprised the role twice more in 2016's Justice League vs. Teen Titans and in 2017's Justice League Dark.
11. Billy Lurk, Dishonored 2 (2016)
Did you know that in the 2016 video game Dishonored 2, Dawson gives voice to both the character Captain Meagan Foster? Well, now you do. So consider yourself leveled up, game geeks.
12. Elaris, Ratchet & Clank (2016)
In addition to all of her other roles of 2016, Dawson somehow also found time to bring her voice acting talents to the CG-animated film, Ratchet & Clank. Here the actress played Elaris, a commander of the space-spanning Galactic Rangers. The movie didn't do well at the box office, but it earned Dawson more geek cred.
13. Batgirl, The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Holy macaroni, Batman! Did Rosario Dawson also star as the voice of Batgirl/Barbara Gordon in 2017's box office smash The Lego Batman Movie? That's right, she did. In addition to her valuable work on Marvel's Iron Fist and The Defenders, she also brought her talents to another comic book-based film for rival DC comics. And that's why — in addition to all of the other reasons listed here — she is the undisputed Queen of the Nerdiverse!
What's your favorite geek-centric Rosario Dawson role? Feel free to nerd out in the box below!