Rose McGowan was born in Florence, Italy in 1975. Her parents raised in Italy on a commune of the Children of God cult. Her parents moved back to the United States when Rose was ten. They didn't want anything to do with American culture, however, and Rose had never spoken English until then.
She had never seen a movie before either, and she wasn't even aware that movies and television existed. Her education was limited to 'little schools where the kids laid around listening to Kurt Vonnegut.' All the traditional education she recieved was from her mother. In spite of the atmosphere she grew up in, even from early on Rose was very un-hippie and never bought into that lifestyle.
Rose left the commune when she was fifteen. She then worked in a variety of jobs, and often had to lie about her age to get them. She worked as a waitress, sales clerk, ticket taker and other minimum wage jobs. She was even forced to live on the streets for a while.
Her first acting opportunity was in 1992's Encino Man. After that, she waited another three years before being in another movie. Her next film was Gregg Araki's Doom Generation. Araki had met her outside a gym while she was in LA to attend arts school, and he decided to cast her in his Sundance entry.
Although much of Rose's fame has come from her more commercial films like Biodome and Scream, most of her roles have been in independant films.
While McGowan enjoys making movies, her first love is traditional art. Rather than creatin art (like her father), she would rather be a curator and revive museums. She feels that museums have become unfriendly to younger people, and dreams of opening them up so that the average person can connect with them.