Inspired by actual events, “Unstoppable” is an adrenaline rush fueled by director Tony Scott’s signature mark of propulsive action rooted in the reality of ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances. A veteran train engineer (Denzel Washington) and a young conductor (Chris Pine) race the clock to stop an unmanned runaway train – effectively a missile the size of a skyscraper -- and prevent disaster in a heavily populated area.

As Frank and Will face imminent danger, their one solace is the voice of Yardmaster Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson) over the radio. Stationed back at Mingo Yard, where the runaway locomotive began as a simple coaster, Connie is a voice of reason and direction throughout the chaos. “Connie represents a different face of the railroad,” says screenwriter Bomback. “She is someone who could eventually become part of the executive ranks because she’s extremely capable and used railroading as an opportunity to take control of her fate.”
“Connie is a strong woman,” says actress Rosario Dawson. “She is confident and assertive without being arrogant or bitchy which is an absolute necessity if you want to be successful in a traditionally male role. The train yard is definitely a man’s world.”
“It was a challenge to make sure that Connie’s voice could be heard by all the men around her,” she continues. “Not just the men she supervises, but also the corporate executives. She has to be heard and accepted because lives are always at stake in her job.”

Even before Connie learns that a train has left her yard unmanned that brisk morning, her day is off to a less than stellar start. As she arrives late for work, she encounters an insipid safety inspector from the Federal Railroad Administration sent to assist her in hosting a field trip of elementary school children learning about train safety, a time-consuming endeavor about which she is wholly unenthusiastic. When the assistant yardmaster finds humor in her misery, she’s further discouraged and realizes this day is going to be particularly long. If she only knew.

“She’s the voice of reason in very dramatic circumstances,” adds Dawson. “Even though she has to follow the protocol outlined in some dusty manual, she has to get a grip, think on her feet and move forward and make decisions with a confidence she doesn’t necessarily have when it comes to a train the size of the Chrysler Building moving like a missile into dense population.”
All three lead actors admit that the unstoppable train – the 777 – steals every scene. “The 777 is the real star of the movie,” says Washington. “It’s the shark in ‘Jaws.’ It’s the monster in the room that’s going to destroy people, towns -- anything and everything in its path. Chris Pine and I are just side men. It’s all about the train, that’s why it’s called Unstoppable.”

“Connie and her team back at the Yardstation are looking at a wall of blinking lights,” explains Dawson. “Every one of those lights is someone’s home, a farm, a school, a business. Frank and Will are out there watching the actual houses and businesses blur past them. They’re driving backwards down the track in a train that’s rattling so much it’s almost falling apart. But they don’t need us to be scared for them; they need us to provide information so that they can make educated choices. Each group has its vision of what it’s experiencing and it’s only by communicating that the two worlds blend.”

Dawson (Yardmaster Connie Hooper) has garnered praise for her numerous leading roles with today’s hottest film actors and directors, making her one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading ladies. Dawson received a Satellite Award for her performance as Mimi Marquez in the film “Rent.” She was honored again in 2007 at ShoWest, where she was named Supporting Actress of the Year.

Recently awarded as Best Actress in a Motion Picture at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards for her performance in “Seven Pounds” (opposite Will Smith) and the Half-Life Award at the 2008 Cine Vegas International Film Festival alongside Don Cheadle, Viggo Mortensen and Sam Rockwell, Dawson’s other notable films include the hit teen movie “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief,” “Eagle Eye,” “Killshot,” “Grindhouse,” “Death Proof,” “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” “Alexander,” “Shattered Glass,” “25th Hour,” “He Got Game” and “Men in Black 2.”
“Unstoppable” opens November 12 (Friday) in theaters nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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