Family & Companions
Once hailed as "Audrey Hepburn with a darker edge," actress Rose Byrne launched a successful film career in the United States after an auspicious showbiz beginning on television in her native Australia. Her pivotal role as Trojan princess Briseis in the epic "Troy" (2004) marked her first major exposure to American audiences, after which she lent her effusive charm to mainstream successes like "28 Weeks Later" (2007) and represented a promising new breed of young actor in the youthful thriller "Wicker Park" (2004), the new wave biopic "Marie Antoinette" (2006), and the Judd Apatow-produced comedy "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). An acclaimed co-starring role on the biting legal series "Damages" (FX, 2007-2012) firmly established Byrne's strength for mild-mannered characters who conceal an unexpected strength just below the surface.
Born on July 24, 1979 in Sydney, Australia, Byrne began acting at eight years old when she joined the Australian Theatre for Young People. At 13, she was cast in her first film, "Dallas Doll" (1994), a comedy starring Sandra Bernhard as an American golf pro who seduces an entire family. The following year, she landed a starring role in "Echo Point" (1995), however that nighttime soap only lasted six months on the airwaves. Out of work and back in ordinary high school life, Byrne quickly learned how fleeting fame can be. As a 20-year-old, Byrne returned to the screen with a leading role in the critically acclaimed indie "Two Hands" (1999), co-starring fellow Aussie Heath Ledger. The crime-comedy about a small-time gangster in big-time trouble was a surprise entry in the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and won a few Film Critics of Australia awards. Her resume grew with significant appearances in "My Mother Frank" (1999) and "The Goddess of 1967" (2000), where Byrne played a blind and emotionally unstable girl left behind to fend for herself after a family murder/suicide. Byrne was awarded the Copa Volpi for Best Actress at the 1999 Venice International Film Festival for her performance; an honor that boosted her reputation as a solid actress.
Byrne made her first big Hollywood splash playing Dorme, Queen Padme's handmaiden, in "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" (2002). Despite the small, wordless nature of the role, her character Dorme achieved cult status, with a web forum devoted to her and an online petition to toy makers Hasbro for a Dormé action figure to be released. From that high-profile film Byrne co-starred in the sweetly comic 1930s-set British film "I Capture The Castle" (2002), for which she received solid notices for her performance as one of a pair of sisters in an eccentric rural family. Byrne worked steadily with supporting roles in the Australian comedies "The Night We Called it a Day" (2003) and "Take Away" (2003), as well as the coming-of-age drama "The Rage in Placid Lake" (2003) before her international break-out in "Troy" in 2004. The historical epic found Byrne playing a captured member of the Trojan royal family and enjoying the honor of an on-screen romance with star Brad Pitt. Byrne next appeared alongside Josh Hartnett, Matthew Lillard, and Diane Kruger in "Wicker Park" (2004), a Hitchcockian thriller about a man (Hartnett) caught in an obsessive search for a women he fell in love with (Kruger) while being manipulated by a woman (Byrne) who tries to keep them apart.
Balancing her multiplex offerings with more artful fare, Byrne gave an excellent performance in the BBC-produced "Casanova" (2005), playing a young kitchen maid who is shocked to learn that the elderly librarian (Peter O'Toole) in the castle is the legendary lover, Casanova. In a very different take on 18th century life, Byrne portrayed La Duchesse de Polignac, friend and confidant to "Marie Antoinette" (2006) in filmmaker Sofia Coppola's hip interpretation of the doomed French queen. She next co-starred in "28 Weeks Later" (2007), the surprisingly good sequel to Danny Boyle's excellent sci-fi horror film "28 Days Later" (2002) that saw the British Isles devastated by the so-called rage virus, which turns humans into unstoppable, blood-thirsty zombies. The same year, Byrne landed her first American primetime television role playing a young attorney and associate of a ruthless law veteran (Glenn Close) in the legal drama "Damages." In her first season, she made such a strong impression that she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Series.
Outside of her television shooting schedule, Byrne continued to further her film career, starring in the Australian drama "The Tender Hook" (2008) where she played a woman involved in a lover's triangle with a con man and a boxer in 1920s Sydney. The following year, she had a supporting role in the Nicolas Cage sci-fi thriller "Knowing" (2009), about a professor who races to prevent the apocalypse after discovering terrifying and true predictions of the future that were written by a grade school student 50 years prior. Meanwhile, Byrne delivered another excellent performance as Ellen Parsons in the second season of "Damages," earning both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Critics raved over Byrne's performance in the sleeper hit "Adam" (2009), where she played a quirky, kindhearted teacher falling in love with a man afflicted with Asperger syndrome. She also drew laughs as the scandalously sexy singer Jackie Q, true love to Russell Brand's outrageous Aldous Snow, in the comedy "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). Meanwhile, her continued excellent work on "Damages" earned her more Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in 2010.
In 2011, Byrne had a banner year, with three major film hits, each a month apart. The atmospheric "Insidious" was the first to arrive in theaters, with the actress playing a tormented woman whose son and husband are pulled into a realm of supernatural terror. Next up was "Bridesmaids," the runaway comedy smash that found her portraying the poised and uptight Helen, who gets dragged into her friend's wedding-related antics. By the time June rolled around, Byrne was featured as Moira MacTaggert, one of the few non-super-powered characters in "X-Men: First Class." "Damages" ended in 2012, and she filmed her supporting part in the pensive drama "The Place Beyond the Pines," playing the frustrated wife of a cop and aspiring lawyer (Bradley Cooper) who has a life-changing incident while on duty. After appearing in the comedic dud "The Internship" (2013), Byrne starred in "Insidious: Chapter 2" (2013), a chilling direct continuation of the first film that proved to be another success. Her next major film success came with the box office hit "Neighbors" in which she starred opposite Seth Rogen as a new parent at war with the frat boys next door.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Casting (Feature Film)
Appeared in first film role "Dallas Doll" at age 12
Co-starred with Heath Ledger in critically acclaimed film "Two Hands"
Acted on Australian series "Heartbreak High" (Network Ten)
Cast in Australian film "My Mother Frank" with Sam Neill and Sinéad Cusack
First leading role, "The Goddess of 1967"
Cast in production of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters" at Sydney Theatre Company
Played Dorm in George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"
Starrred opposite Matt Dillon and James Caan in "City of Ghosts"
Cast as Gemma Taylor in comedy "The Rage In Placid Lake"
Featured opposite Australian musician Darren Hayes in his music video "I Miss You"
Played a woman who manipulates Josh Hartnett' character in psychological thriller "Wicker Park"
Played Briseis, a Trojan priestess opposite Brad Pitt's Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen's "Troy"
Cast opposite Dylan McDermott and Snoop Dogg in "The Tenants"
Portrayed a French aristocrat and friend of Marie Antoinette in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette"
Cast as young attorney Ellen Parsons opposite Glenn Close on FX legal drama "Damages"
Co-starred in Danny Boyle produced thriller "28 Weeks Later"
Co-starred with Hugh Dancy as a man born with Asperger syndrome in "Adam"
Co-starred with Nicolas Cage in sci-fi thriller "Knowing"
Co-starred with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand in "Get Him to the Greek"
Starred in horror film "Insidious"
Portrayed Dr. Moira MacTaggert in "X-Men" film serie prequel "X-Men: First Class"
Co-starred with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in hit comedy "Bridesmaids"
Cast opposite Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes in "The Place Beyond the Pines"
Starred in "Insidious: Chapter 2"
Landed a featured role in "Neighbors"
Appeared in "Spy"
Reprised her role in "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising"
Returned for "X-Men: Apocalypse"
Starred on mini-series "No Activity"
Appeared in TV movie adaptation "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Appeared in Louis C.K.'s undistributed "I Love You, Daddy"
Returned for horror sequel "Insidious: The Last Key"
Co-starred with Mark Walhberg in the comedy "Instant Family"
Voiced the robot "Mother" in sci-fi thriller "I Am Mother"