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USSIE actor Rose Byrne has been praised for her comedic performances in movies such as Bridesmaids, but for one scene in her new film I Give it a Year, there was no acting required.
Byrne confesses she is terrified of birds, so when it came time to film a scene in which costar Simon Baker releases two doves into a room with a ceiling fan, her hilarious reactions are her losing it for real.
‘‘That’s real fear on my face,’’ she says.
‘‘I didn’t realise how terrified I would be (but) I could barely do the scene.
‘‘And what was crazy was Simon Baker was not fazed. I mean, those birds were standing on his head (and) he did not flinch.
‘‘I was jumping on the floor. I couldn’t talk. I was crying. I was a wreck.’’
The scene is one of the stand-out moments in I Give it a Year, a new romantic comedy from production company Working Title, who made Love Actually and Bridget Jones’s Diary.
I Give it a Year was written and directed by Dan Mazer, best known for working with Sacha Baron Cohen on everything from Da Ali G Show to Borat and Bruno.
Mazer’s aim was to subvert the usual cliches that come with your typical romantic comedies. In particular, he wanted the audience to be rooting for the newlywed couple – uptight Nat (Byrne) and man-child Josh (Rafe Spall) – to break up rather than stay together. Despite that, Byrne says it’s ultimately a romantic movie.
‘‘It’s about finding the right person and not just marrying because you think you should,’’ she says.
‘‘Romantic comedy is such a difficult genre because it’s been done endlessly.’’
Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne in