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Dawson told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that she felt the event was the "dawn of a new day"

By Virginia Chamlee
January 28, 2021 02:37 PM
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rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson

Describing Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 to the "dawn of a new day," actress Rosario Dawson reflected in a Wednesday interview on her experience attending the ceremony with her boyfriend, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

Though the day started out snowy, cloudy and breezy, Dawson, 41, told Live with Kelly & Ryan hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that it warmed up considerably — in both a literal and metaphorical sense.

"It snowed ... which was kind of trippy. It was very cloudy and breezy. I had been there before when Barack had been inaugurated both times and it was freezing, so I was multi-layered up," Dawon said on Live. "It was the dawn of a new day. It really felt like the sun came out, it got warm. It was just really beautiful. There was just so much light."

Dawson also opened up about fears for the security of the event, which was held two weeks after an attempted coup on the U.S. Capitol, during a joint session of Congress.

As a result, the heart of Washington, D.C., was heavily fortified with checkpoints and thousands of National Guardsmen. (The crowd had already been dramatically slimmed down as a health precaution against COVID-19.)

"I think there had been a lot of fear and tension about how the day was going to go through," Dawson said. "But it was just so respectful and beautiful, and it just felt like such a privilege and an honor to be there."

Noting the significance of the flags that were on display on the National Mall — a symbol of all those who couldn't attend due to the ongoing pandemic — Dawson said she felt her own attendance was also symbolic.

"I was there representing both the Latino [population] and the 600,000 people we had registered just last year ... I was representing West Africa and just trying to include as many people as possible in this special, historic moment," she said.

In another segment on the show, Dawson remembered Biden's response to her relationship with Booker, whom she began dating in October 2018.

Sharing a photo of her and Biden walking arm-in-arm, Dawson said that during the campaign, as the two men were preparing to debate one another, the now-president pulled her aside to sing her boyfriend's praises.

"He kind of pulled me aside and just had the most beautiful and effusive things to say about Corey," Dawson said. "He was talking about, 'I married up, I hope he marries up.' He's very charming. It was really, really nice ... to see the kind of respect and dignity that's there between these folks as colleagues."

Dawson and Booker reportedly began after meeting at a political fundraiser for a mutual friend.

She joined Booker on the campaign trail, including at multiple events in Nevada on the Fourth of July and at a meet-and-greet in Boulder City.

The couple took their relationship a step further when she moved in to Booker's Newark, New Jersey, home during the pandemic, driving cross-country from Los Angeles over the summer.

"For my whole life, I've always felt like, even when I got into a relationship, I was trying to be the center of the storm and everything was just this maelstrom out there," Dawson told The Washington Post in 2019. "But for the first time, I feel like I have someone in the center of the storm with me."