The movie “Trance” is all about using hypnosis to get back a lost memory. Has Rosario Dawson, who played the hypnotist, ever been hypnotized?
—Mario Zuniga, Las Cruces, N.M.
Dawson, 34, who plays hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb in “Trance,” had never tried hypnosis before landing the role for the movie, but she, as well as her co-stars James McAvoy and Vincent Cassel, agreed to be test subjects before filming began.
“We all very much wanted to go under, but we were all very distracted to see if anyone else had gone under,” she recalls. “James had a moment when he couldn’t pry his fingers apart. Vincent doesn’t believe it and thinks [the hypnotist] was just messing with us. But James has talked about it since in the press, and he is very serious, so I take him seriously.”
While Dawson says she didn’t experience not being able to move a body part, she definitely entered the state between sleep and wakefulness, where your body lulls and gets cold because it starts to shut down and goes, “Okay, you’re resting.”
“It was important for me to see those types of physiological changes and also see how important it is for the [hypnotist’s] voice to be kind of warm and relaxed,” she says. “It was really helpful to me, but I didn’t actually go under.”
That said, she is a believer, as she knows people who have successfully used hypnosis to break a bad habit.
“So many people that I know quit smoking for a year because of it,” says the native New Yorker. “They say after a year, you should go back in and do it again. My friends who did, they stayed off cigarettes. My friends who didn’t, they got back on. It was amazing to see those types of transformations in people.”