Is Not Okay’s Rowan Aldwin Based on a Real Activist?

Image Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Searchlight Pictures

Directed by Quinn Shephard, ‘Not Okay’ is a satirical black comedy film that revolves around Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), a social media influencer who gains fame and recognition based on a lie. After faking a Paris trip, Danni becomes a popular influencer and meets activist Rowan Aldwin. Rowan raises questions about some poignant issues that America faces through her activism. Hence, viewers must wonder whether the character of Rowan is based on a real activist. In that regard, let us share everything we know about Rowan Aldwin in ‘Not Okay.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Is Rowan Aldwin Based on a Real Activist?

Rowan Aldwin is one of the main characters in director Quinn Shephard’s ‘Not Okay,’ which looks at the internet and social media culture. She is a social media activist who fights against the gun regulation laws in the country. Rowan is a survivor of a shooting incident at her school. Her sister died in the shooting, inspiring her to become an activist and speak up about the gun laws and violence in the country. Rowan meets Danni Sanders, and the two form a close bond through their shared experiences.

Image Credit: Nicole Rivelli/Searchlight Pictures

Actress Mia Isaac essays the role of Rowan Aldwin in the film. Issac is known for her performances in films such as ‘Don’t Make Me Go‘ and ‘Lovestruck.’ In ‘Not Okay,’ Isacc’s Rowan is defined by her headstrong nature. However, she struggles to cope with her trauma and provides a stark contrast to Danni’s superficial plights. Therefore, Rowan is a reliable character and might remind viewers of some real-life teenage activists.

Activist and gun control advocate Emma González, also known as X González might have served as a partial inspiration for the character. Born on November 11, 1999, González was a high school senior during the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. González is bisexual, and her pronouns are they/them. Since the incident, González has given a viral speech against gun violence. Therefore, there is an uncanny resemblance between them and Rowan from ‘Not Okay.’

Other real-life teenage gun law advocates such as Kenidra Woods, Jazmine Wildcat, Natalie Barden, Sarah Chadwick, etc., might have also served as inspiration for the character of Rowan. Writer-director Quinn Shephard has stated that she did extensive research about social media influencers and activists while crafting the narrative and characters for her film. Hence, it is evident that Rowan is a fictional character created by Shephard who is likely an amalgamation of several real-life teenage activists.

Ultimately, the character of Rowan adds depth to the film’s story and gives viewers a rooted perspective on the world of teenage activists. ‘Not Okay’ highlights the tenacity and influence of activists such as Rowan, who exist in real life. It underlines how their tragic experiences have shaped their worldview and their need to raise theirs for causes they believe in. Moreover, by tying Rowan to the gun violence advocacy, the narrative tackles a prevalent issue in modern America, making the narrative more resonant for viewers.

Read More: Is Not Okay’s Dani Sanders Based on a Real Influencer?