What we’re talking about this month.
no matter what city Rose Byrne visits, she seeks out a 50-metre pool: “It’s like a little pilgrimage,” says the 35-year-old Aussie over the phone from New York. “I find the water healing, calming even.” Which is why her latest role—as Justine, a grown woman who is taking swimming lessons—in the upcoming film Adult Beginners, posed a peculiar physical challenge. “It was bizarre trying to look uncomfortable in the water when I actually love to swim!” she says. Of course, of all the challenges Justine has to face, her lack of aquatic prowess is fairly minor. An indie black comedy that has been picking up steam among critics, the film stars Byrne as a thirtysomething woman who still lives in the house where she grew up and whose high flyer turned huge failure brother returns to be a “nanny” for her three-year-old son. Cue the regressive sibling dynamics, emotional viewing of old family movies and a funny, unexpectedly moving exploration of arrested development in the Long Island suburbs. “I love how dark Justine is and how she masks it with wit and intelligence,” says Byrne, adding that her experience of “being a grown-up” has been quite similar. “Parts of it are tough, but it’s important to stay on the positive side.” And her relationships with her own siblings? “We’re all over the place now, but every year we cram everyone into a beach house for a week at Silver Rock, north of Sydney in Australia. It’s lovely; doing that is just a part of my DNA.”