As an actress, Rose McGowan has crafted performances that will stand the test of time, performances that have seared the big screen in films like Doom Generation, Jawbreaker, Scream, Grindhouse and on the small screen, most notably in Charmed, the longest running female led show in television history.

During her acting tenure, McGowan went deep into her “accidental industry,” devoting herself to the study of classic film, Hollywood history, its early business mechanics and structure. She’s even said to have the original RKO letters hanging in her house. Fascinated by all things film, McGowan often did unpaid shadow work with the great camera, art and sound departments on days she wasn’t working as an actress. McGowan says she got an unusually intense education, all in the pressure cooker of a working film set.

After calculating that she’d worked on sets for over 57,000 hours, Rose McGowan reversed course, startling people with her directorial debut, Dawn. Set in 1961, the film is a taut thriller of uncommon depth. A haunting jewel, Dawn was nominated at the Sundance Film Festival bowing to rave reviews, theatrical distribution and a screening at Lincoln Center followed.

Changing lanes again, McGowan released a propulsive yet melodic sound experience, her single “RM486.” Few knew McGowan wrote and sang music. By naming the song “RM486,” a play on her initials and a controversial birth control pill, McGowan sent a strong signal to the world that she is both an artist and activist who is here to challenge traditional thought. Said to be working on an intensive multi-year multi-media project in its final stages of readiness, McGowan’s memoir/manifesto, BRAVE, is due out later this fall from Harper Collins.

In attendance: LADY IN THE DARK