The scene in which Doctor Smith talks to Rosa the Avon Lady about her flowers was probably the purest form of improvisation we had all season. Milch conceived, wrote and choreographed that little piece only minutes before it was shot. We'd just finished shooting something at the nearby Snug Harbor Motel, and Milch decided at the last minute to add a scene that would illustrate the neurologist's confusion over his decision to resign from the hospital in the wake of Shaun's miraculous recovery.
As it happened, the production's "base camp" was located on the street directly in front of Rosa Adams' house. For months, we'd been eating breakfast in her driveway. She's been unflappably sweet, never failing to smile at anyone on the crew who catches her eye. Milch adores her, and routinely buys huge shipments of the Avon products she sells out of her house.
So that's the real Rosa in that scene, and that is her house, and her flowers and her Avon catalogs. There was some initial concern when she had trouble pronouncing "catalog," but Milch flowed with it and came up this exchange:
Rosa: "You want a cat-a-lag?"
Smith: "A Cadillac? Sometimes ... oh, a catalog. Of course, thank you."
- IMDB: Rosa Adams
- San Diego Union-Tribune: HBO series puts spotlight on Imperial Beach, Janine Zúñiga, April 21, 2007.
- FanHistory: Rosa Adams