Rose Arianna McGowan (born September 5, 1973 in Florence, Italy) is an American actress and activist. Known early in her career for such movies as The Doom Generation and Scream (1996), she's had a resurgence in popularity with the TV show Charmed (1998), as the fourth sister brought in when Prue died, and her dual roles in Grindhouse.
In 2016 she announced her retirement from acting to focus on directing. A year later, McGowan reemerged as a very outspoken advocate for female sex abuse victims after accusing film producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her.
Film Roles include:
- 1995 The Doom Generation as Amy Blue
- 1996 Scream as Tatum Riley
- 2000 Ready to Rumble as Sasha
- 2001 Monkeybone as Miss Kitty
- 2007 Planet Terror as Cherry Darling
- 2007 Death Proof as Pam
- 2010 Machete as Boots McCoy (role cut from finished film, but on DVD in deleted scenes)
- 2011 Conan the Barbarian (2011) as Marique
Television Roles include:
- 2001-6 Charmed as Paige Matthews
- 2009 Nip/Tuck as Teddy Rowe
- 2013-4 Once Upon a Time as the young Cora in flashbacks and also as a ghost
Her work features examples of:
- Acting for Two: In Grindhouse she plays two distinct characters - Cherry Darling in Planet Terror and Pam in Death Proof.
- Actor-Inspired Element: She contributed most of Paige's wardrobe for Charmed Season 4.
- Artist Disillusionment: She's grown very disillusioned with Hollywood in the wake of the tidal wave of sexual abuse scandals, calling it a "cult" and she's been very outspoken on her belief that her fellow actors and actresses have been enabling the culture of abuse by keeping silent about it — in particular she accused feminist Meryl Streep of being a hypocrite for working with Harvey Weinstein.note She also refused to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey because she was a friend of Weinstein. She lashed out at the Time's Up protest at the 2018 Golden Globes calling it "Hollywood fakery." She has even attacked her former Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano, saying in an interview, "I don't like her. I think she's a lie", as Milano continues to associate with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), whom McGowan accuses of covering up Weinstein's crimes. She even turned against journalist Ronan Farrow (a vocal critic against permissive culture that allows celebrity sexual abusers, mostly stemming from the scandal of his own father, Woody Allen, marrying his adopted sister Soon-Yi Previn and being accused of having raped another of his adopted sisters) who helped break her story about Weinstein's rape simply because he called her personal memoir "dark".
- Casting Gag: She played David Arquette's sister in Scream, and his love interest in Ready to Rumble.
- Creator Backlash: She does not have fond memories of Grindhouse; she confided in director Robert Rodriguez that Harvey Weinstein had raped her — and felt that he played mind games with her by having her film a scene where she is attacked, and then he sold the film to Weinstein, believing it to be a betrayal of personal trust.
- Creator Breakdown:
- Charmed (1998) coincided with her being blacklisted after her rape by Harvey Weinstein, and she took the role because she desperately needed the work. The long shooting hours coupled with the trauma from being a sexual assault survivor did not help her psyche - nor did the extra fame that came with being on a hit TV show (she recalls being cornered by a mob of fans in Rome). Still, she maintains that she took the role 100% seriously and is grateful to fans of the show, even if it did come from one of the darkest periods of her life.
- She had a major one early in February 2018. She got into a shouting match with a trans woman at a book signing event, over her previous comments over trans people. She then announced she was canceling all future appearances and went on a Twitter rant on how the person who argued with her was a "paid plant" from Weinstein and how nobody in the store did anything to stop it .... even though security escorted the woman away. She later attributed this to all the extra media attention the 'Me Too' movement had brought her, and all the stories she heard from sexual assault survivors. It took moving to London in 2019 for some Creator Recovery.
- Dawson Casting:
- Deleted Role: She filmed some scenes for Machete, but they were cut.
- Dye Hard: She's changed her hair colour a lot over the years. Notably in Charmed, she had a different colour each season - black in Season 4, red in 5, blonde in 6 and brown in the final two.
- Dyeing for Your Art: She dyed her hair blonde for Scream in order to distinguish her from Neve Campbell.
- Fake American: Born and raised in Italy, so most of her roles are technically this. However, given that both her parents are American, they returned to the United States when she was 10, and she has an American accent naturally, this is a marginal example.
- Fake Irish: While she has Irish ancestry, her being a Italian-born American means that she fakes a rather bad Belfast accent in Fifty Dead Men Walking.
- Important Haircut: After being told her whole career that she had to have long hair to be considered attractive, one day she decided to quit acting and cut off all her hair herself with a pair of kitchen scissors. She later shaved her head and has kept it short ever since. The cover image of her book Brave is her running clippers up her head.
- Playing Against Type:
- Reality Subtext: When Rose first started on Charmed, she would sometimes doodle her lines on the prop Book of Shadows, not realising how much sentimental value it had to the cast and crew. This led to a gag in one episode where Piper gets annoyed with Paige for trying to colour-code the book.
- Star-Making Role: The Doom Generation brought her to national attention.
- Those Two Actors:
- Throw It In!: She maintains that she can't scream, so for Scream (1996), in the scene where Tatum is crushed by the garage door she ad-libbed shouting out "mom" instead.
- Typecasting: Usually the Deadpan Snarker - because that's her personality in real life. Paige in Charmed started out as a Naïve Newcomer, before growing into that.
- Wag the Director:
- Unhappy at having to film so many raunchy scenes with actors she'd just met in Charmed's fifth season, she went to the producers and said "Paige isn't a ho" - resulting in more long-term romance plots for the character.
- During production of Jawbreaker's prom scene, Rebecca Gayheart's hairstyle provoked Rose's competitive spirit - and the metal hairbands were the result of her demanding a more impressive hairdo.
- What Could Have Been:
- She was attached to a film adaptation of Red Sonja, to be directed by Robert Rodriguez. But the project never got off the ground, and with Rose announcing her retirement from acting, it's unlikely that she'll play the role if it ever gets revived.
- Other projects she was attached to include a remake of Barbarella and the Julia Stiles adaptation of The Bell Jar.
- Charmed was going to feature a Paige and Cole romance in the fifth season. The spell Paige casts on Cole in the premiere would have led to him kissing her passionately by mistake, eventually developing real feelings for her. Both actors protested the romance and it never happened.