Rosario Dawson

Samir Hussein/Getty Images for Avakian

Rosario Dawson got her big break nearly 20 years ago when she was cast in director Harmony Korine's controversial Kids. Though she convincingly played a sexually active teen named Ruby, the actress told HuffPost Live that she was far less experienced than her character when the movie was filmed in 1994.

"My dad had told me to go downstairs and get discovered because they were shooting this commercial on the block, so I was kind of hanging out and loitering," the native New Yorker recalled. "I thought I was in trouble because they were shooting sound that day. They came up and said, ‘Will you come and audition?' I did. And I didn't think anything of it. And then I got the part."

Dawson soon realized she had "nothing" in common with her character. "I didn't even have sex until I was 20," she explained. "My mom was a teenage mom. I was deathly afraid of being a teenage mom."

(This is hardly the first time the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For star has talked about losing her virginity. "My mom told me so much about sex at an early age that she scared me: I didn't have sex until was 20," she told The New York Times' T. Magazine in February 2009. She's also addressed the topic in previous interviews with Complex and German GQ.)

Because Dawson grew up around many girls whose lives paralleled the movie's characters, she was able to use their experiences to enhance her performance. Even then, she was keenly aware of "how baffling it was that these girls" were having unprotected sex with older boyfriends. "It was just insane," she said.

In hindsight, the single star can't believe her parents agreed to let her appear in the film. "Now I look at the script and go, ‘Parents! What were you thinking?'" she laughed. They did have one concern, however: "The only thing they cared about was not smoking, because my character was supposed to be chain smoking," Dawson remembered. "Like, ‘You're 15! No!'"

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