Rose Byrne- Biography

Also Credited As:

Rose Judith Esther Byrne

About Rose Byrne

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- ) 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.

Between her television shooting schedule Byrne continued to further her film career, starring in "The Dead Girl" (2007), five individual stories revolving around the discovery of a young woman's corpse, as well as 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 played a supporting role in the Nicholas 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 ago. Meanwhile, Byrne delivered another excellent performance as Ellen Parsons in the second season of "Damages," earning nominations for both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 2009. 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 highly anticipated Jonah Hill comedy, "Get Him to the Greek" (2010). Meanwhile, her continued excellent work on "Damages" earned Byrne another Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2010.

Partners

Companion

Gregor Jordan. Australian; directed Byrne in "Two Hands" (1999); no longer together

Companion

Brendan Cowell. Australian; have kept up a long-distance relationship since c. 2003

Family

Brother

George Byrne. Born in 1976

Father

Robin Byrne.

Mother

Jane Byrne.

Sister

Alice Byrne. Born in 1973

Sister

Lucy Byrne. Born in 1972

Education

Syndey's Australian Theatre for Young People

Atlantic Theatre Company, New York , New York

Career Milestones

2011

Portrayed Dr. Moira MacTaggert in the prequel to the "X-Men" film series, "X-Men: First Class"

2011

Co-starred with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in the comedy "Bridesmaids"

2011

Starred in the horror film, "Insidious"

Nominated for the 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

2010

Co-starred with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand in "Get Him to the Greek"

2009

Co-starred with Hugh Dancy, playing a woman who forms a bond with a man born with Asperger syndrome, in "Adam"

2009

Co-starred with Nicolas Cage in the sci-fi thriller, "Knowing"

2007

Cast as Ellen Parsons, a young attorney in the FX legal drama, "Damages"; earned Golden Globe (2008, 2009) and Emmy (2009, 2010) nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

2007

Co-starred in the Danny Boyle produced, "28 Weeks Later"

2006

Portrayed a French aristocrat and friend of Marie Antoinette, in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette"

2006

Cast opposite Dylan McDermott and Snoop Dogg in "The Tenants"

2004

Played a woman who manipulates Josh Hartnett' character in the psychological thriller, "Wicker Park"

2004

Played Briseis, a Trojan priestess, opposite Brad Pitt's Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen's "Troy"

2003

Featured with Australian musician Darren Hayes in his music video for his single, "I Miss You"

2003

Cast as Gemma Taylor in the comedy, "The Rage In Placid Lake"

2002

Starrred opposite Matt Dillon and James Caan in "City of Ghosts"

2002

Played Dorm in George Lucas' "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"

2001

Cast in a production of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters" at the Sydney Theatre Company

2000

First leading role in "The Goddess of 1967"

2000

Cast in the Australian film, "My Mother Frank," with Sam Neill and Sinéad Cusack

1999

Co-starred with Heath Ledger in the critically acclaimed film, "Two Hands"

1999

Played Carly in the Australian series, "Heartbreak High"

1994

Appeared in first film role, "Dallas Doll," when she was 12 years old