Last week was the 19th anniversary of the release of the movie Kids, the raw, gritty, and explicit portrait of a young group of skaters wandering the streets of downtown Manhattan. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost twenty years since we first met Telly, Casper, Jenny, and Ruby — and that Hamilton taught teens across America how to roll a blunt.
Since the release of the film, written by a young Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark, lots of things have changed. The actor who played Casper committed suicide and Harold Hunter, who was mostly playing himself in the movie, died of a drug-related heart attack but along with the tragedies, are some success stories. Both Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson had no prior acting experience before starring in Kids and went on to have long and fruitful careers — and continue to work in Hollywood.
Rosario Dawson, who grew up with her stepdad and Puerto Rican/Afro-Cuban mom in the East Village, was discovered while sitting on the stoop of her parent’s apartment. Vibe magazine was filming on her block and she went to check it out. It was there, laughing and hanging out on the stoop, that Harmony Korine spotted a 15 year-old Rosario and asked her to audition for his film.
She would play Ruby, a loud-mouthed, gum-smacking teen who wasn’t shy about sharing the intimate details to her girlfriends about losing her virginity at summer camp.