Tal­ent to Byrne

The Aus­tralian star of Judd Apa­tow’s new com­edy Brides­maids talks to Nathalie Gale and Marie-Christine Sourris about her own chances of mak­ing it down the aisle

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

WITH her long brunette locks, slen­der frame and pe­tite and pretty fea­tures, Rose Byrne should have no prob­lems find­ing a hus­band.

Yet the Syd­ney-born, New York-based star is still look­ing for Mr Right.

‘‘ I’m sin­gle. I’ve got to find a hus­band some­where!’’ she says with a laugh.

But that hasn’t stopped her en­joy­ing ev­ery mo­ment of the singleton life­style she has hap­pily adopted since split­ting with her long-time Aussie ac­tor-writer boyfriend Bren­dan Cow­ell early last year.

Byrne, 31, lives foot­loose and fan­cyfree, while tak­ing in the odd lap dance at strip clubs – for work, that is, thanks to her role in new chick-flick Brides­maids.

Writ­ten by An­nie Mu­molo and Satur­day Night Live ’ s Kris­ten Wiig ( who also star), the film has been dubbed the fe­male ver­sion of The Hang­over and has been clean­ing up at the US box of­fice.

As He­len – the vain ice­queen and co-best friend of bride Lil­lian ( played by Maya Ru­dolph) – Byrne is fan­tas­ti­cally funny. He­len goes out of her way to be­lit­tle the of­fi­cial maid of hon­our, An­nie ( played by Wiig), who has been Lil­lian’s best friend since pri­mary school.

‘‘ It is re­ally the an­tithe­sis of the typ­i­cal bri­dal com­edy,’’ Byrne says. ‘‘ It is far darker and weirder and fun­nier.’’

Best known these days as hot-shot lawyer Ellen Parsons in the hit US se­ries Dam­ages, which has earned her two Emmy and two Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions, it seemed as though Byrne was be­ing type­cast as the se­ri­ous girl.

Then came Get Him to the Greek last year, the Judd Apa­tow-pro­duced spin-off to the box-of­fice smash For­get­ting Sarah Mar­shall.

‘‘ I have been so lucky with Get Him to the Greek and then to work again with Judd Apa­tow on Brides­maids,’’ Byrne says. ‘‘ It is great to do di­verse things as an ac­tor so I am very lucky.’’

Is she hav­ing fun with the lighter side of film?

‘‘ It is a new for­mat for me and some­thing I have been want­ing to do for a long time but I think that is why I love it so much,’’ she says.

‘‘ We laughed all day on set. It was bril­liant and one of the best and most fun jobs I have ever had. There was none of that stereo­typ­i­cal stress be­tween girls, or cat­ti­ness. I would do it all again in an in­stant.

‘‘ It is rare that you read a script that is about a group of women for a start, and about a group of funny women in a sit­u­a­tion that is fa­mil­iar to ev­ery­body – a wed­ding and be­ing a brides­maid and be­ing a bride – so all those sorts of things im­me­di­ately drew me in.’’

Byrne scored her first film job at 15 in Dal­las Doll but her big break didn’t come un­til 1999, when she starred op­po­site Heath Ledger in un­der­world flick Two Hands. She fol­lowed up with turns in My Mother Frank and The God­dess of 1967.

Hol­ly­wood came call­ing in 2002, thanks to her ( ad­mit­tedly small) role in Star Wars: Episode II. Since then, it has been more se­ri­ous roles in films like Troy, Wicker Park, 28 Weeks Later and Adam that have gar­nered her crit­i­cal ac­claim.

Dur­ing her an­nual hia­tus from film­ing Dam­ages, Byrne usu­ally clocks up at least one film job.

Last year, in ad­di­tion to Brides­maids, Byrne starred in haunt­ing hor­ror flick In­sid­i­ous, re­leased last month, and is now in cin­e­mas with X-Men: First Class.

Jug­gling film and tele­vi­sion keeps her pretty busy and, given the lengthy trip from New York to Aus­tralia, Byrne can’t get back home as of­ten as she’d like to visit her par­ents who live in Tas­ma­nia.

‘‘ My dad has a gar­lic farm, he grows large garlics. So there is a lot of bad breath in our house!’’ she laughs.

BRIDES­MAIDS Opens Vil­lage Cin­e­mas on Thurs­day X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Now show­ing Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

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