Aussie actress Rose Byrne says the hacking of Sony Pictures could pave the way for equality in the movie industry because the leaked emails exposed the rampant sexism in Hollywood.
The scandal hit headlines last year when cyber criminals infiltrated the company’s database and stole reams of private information, including emails which revealed stars’ salary details. Among the revelations was the gender pay gap on Oscar-nominated movie American Hustle, with emails suggesting the film’s female stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, were paid significantly less than the male actors.
“All that stuff that was leaked through the internet when Sony was hacked – it all speaks for itself. So, it is beyond just misogyny,” Byrne said. “It’s legitimate discrimination based on gender, which is illegal. Any discrimination is, whether it’s sexuality, race or gender.”
Byrne, who has founded an all-female film production company, has now declared the hacking could actually benefit Hollywood because it has turned the spotlight on problems facing women in Tinseltown and prompted a probe by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“The statistics are still so dreadful for women in film,” Byrne tells Pridesource.com. “Now the ACLU is doing an investigation into it because they’re starting to realise it’s actually discrimination – it’s not just good ol’ fashioned misogyny that everyone’s quietly tolerated for years. “The business is sort of the wrong way in the sense that the statistics are just really dreadful for women in terms of speaking parts and pay cheques for women.”
You can also read this great interview : Q&A: Rose Byrne Speaks Out On Hollywood Sexism (‘It’s Discrimination’), Talks Drag Inspirations & Playing Gay
She played a good girl lawyer in Damages and was perfectly, poisonously hilarious in Bridesmaids. Now Rose Byrne is a Bondesque villain in Spy. We meet the good girl gone baddie.
It’s three o’clock on a warm weekday afternoon, Rose Byrne and I are in a genteel Italian restaurant in New York’s West Village, and our waitress – with an entirely straight face – has just asked if we’re interested in today’s special, a 20 oz pork chop. “Let’s start with that; one each,” suggests a laughing Byrne. “It’s almost worth it, just so you could write about it.” In the event, sadly, the slender Australian actress chooses minestrone soup. “We’ll get the chop next time, I promise,” she tells our waitress, apologetically.
To some, 35-year-old Byrne may still be most recognisable from the five years she spent till 2012 playing Ellen Parsons alongside Glenn Close’s ruthless Patty Hewes in the American legal thriller Damages. But in recent years she has shown some serious comedy chops, in films such as Bridesmaids and Bad Neighbours, and now, her latest, Spy.
The Bond-inspired spoof features her Bridesmaids co-star Melissa McCarthy as a back-office CIA agent working undercover in the field for the first time, and Byrne as her nemesis, Raina Boyanov, the Oxford-educated daughter of a Bulgarian arms dealer.
“It was a very conscious decision,” Byrne says of her move into lighter material. “I’m Australian – we don’t take ourselves too seriously – but I really didn’t know if I would have any luck,” she shrugs. “Just because you’re funny in real life doesn’t mean you are necessarily a funny actor; and if you’re funny on screen it does not mean you’re bound to be funny in real life,” she notes.
Onscreen charm and comedic timing aside, we can always count on Rose Byrne to deliver outstanding looks every time she graces the red carpet. Case in point: She most recently dropped jaws at the 2015 Met Gala in a red custom lacquered hand-cut Calvin Klein Collection leather gown embellished with agate and red jasper stones.
She attributes her sartorial success to her longtime stylist Penny Lovell. But as stunning as she looks on the red carpet, there’s more than meets the eye. “It’s not something that comes naturally to me,” Byrne surprisingly reveals to InStyle about her comfort level on the carpet. “Other people have a real handle on it. I’ve gotten more comfortable, but I definitely heed Penny’s advice and defer to her when I’m not sure about something.”
So what has she learned after all these years? “The red carpet is a performance in way. It’s like a strange beauty pageant,” she laughs. “I’ve always like clothes, so I try to embrace that side of it. It’s incredible to work with designers who are gifted and talented—it’s really fascinating.”
Basically, Byrne has fooled us ever since she stepped foot onto the red carpet seven years ago when she attended the 2008 Emmy Awards, her first awards show. It just goes to show, Byrne is one helluva actress.
Nothing can come between Rose Byrne and her Calvins, or that’s the way it seems these days. The actress has knocked out red carpet hits ever since she came on the scene, and it’s in large part due to her longtime stylist Penny Lovell and the mastermind behind these creations—Calvin Klein Collection’s women’s creative director Francisco Costa.
“We met in 2008, and he dressed me for the Emmys when Damages was up for Best Series,” Byrne tells InStyle about the first time she met Costa. “I was very nervous; it was my first big awards ceremony, my first red carpet experience. I was 26 or something, and he made me feel really comfortable. He’s not only incredibly talented, but he’s also a really warm and lovely person. I was very lucky.”
Since then, she has racked up a number of standouts from her running Calvin Klein streak, including her stunning pink separates at the 2013 Emmy Awards and most recently, a custom red lacquer embellished creation at the Met Gala. But her relationship with the brand spans decades, which can be traced back to her pre-red carpet days.
“In Australia, Calvin is iconic and I loved the Brooke Shields campaigns from the 1980s. She’s so chic,” the Aussie actress says, recalling the moment she fell in love with the brand. “It was iconic, but very modern as well.”
So it makes sense that Byrne would be the one to present the 2015 Fashion Visionary Award to Costa at the annual Pratt Institute fashion show Thursday night. “He is no ordinary designer; he understands the elegance of his creations, to help women feel feminine and powerful,” she said in her speech. “I can’t think of anyone else more deserving of this honor.”
“I think our careers are put to test all the time. So a moment like this at Pratt is, for me, really special,” Costa said prior to the show. “I regard Pratt as one of the most incredible schools of art and design in the world, and I’m very humbled and happy to have been selected.”
And his one message to emerging designers of today? “There’s always room out there for great talent, but you have to really believe in yourself and work hard for it.”
With two movies coming in theaters really soon and the lauch of The Dollhouse, Rose has been the subject or mentioned in a lot of articles, interviews and blog posts. At first, I wanted to make one post by article but quickly, I realised it would be way too much so here’s a recap of all the press articles that surfaced online this past week. Each of them are really interesting and worth a read!
Rose Byrne on Nick Kroll: ‘He’s very sweet with his parents’ (NY Post)
Rose Byrne on Surviving the ‘Annie’ Flop, ‘Bridesmaids’ Reunion, and Her Comedy Takeover (The Daily Beast)
Why Rose Byrne is reading ‘The Féminine Mystique’ now (Elle US)
Rose Byrne helped boyfriend Bobby Cannavale land movie role (Page Six)
Melissa McCarthy-Rose Byrne chemistry is the secret formula in ‘Spy’ (LA Times)
Rose Byrne Talks Spy, Neighbors 2, and X-Men: Apocalypse (Comic Book)
Rose Byrne On Playing The Pregnant Woman Movies Are Scared To Show (Refinery 29)
10 Audition Tapes That Made Now-Famous Actors’ Careers (Time)
After establishing herself as a dramatic actress during a five-season stint on the underrated FX legal thriller, Damages, Rose Byrne has remade herself as a comedic powerhouse. It all began with her winning turn in Bridesmaids, and since then Byrne has burnished that cred with movies like Neighbors and as the villain in Melissa McCarthy’s upcoming comedy, Spy. In her latest movie, Adult Beginners, Byrne stars opposite Nick Kroll and her real-life boyfriend Bobby Cannavale in a deliciously cynical comedy about a venture capitalist who loses everything before finding love with his sister and her husband. Thirty-two stories above Manhattan at the Trump SoHo hotel, we spoke to Byrne about acting alongside her partner, the lack of female directors in Hollywood, and the important charity work she’s involved in.
What first attracted you to the project?
The screenplay was so beautiful, and well written. I just really fell in love. I read it so fast and I was just like, this is one of the best things I’ve read in a really long time. It’s a quieter comedy then, you know, say, Neighbors or Bridesmaids or something.
You and Bobby Cannavale are together in real life. What’s it like working with your partner on set?
It’s fun. We’ve done three jobs together now and they’re all so different. I think it’s really just an economic choice for the producers because they only have to get one car [Laughs].
Was Nick a third wheel at all like in the film?
Nick was wearing a lot of hats. He was producing, he had created the story, so he was too busy to be worried about that. We were in small quarters, so luckily we all got along.
This year’s winter was absolutely brutal and you guys were filming in upstate New York. Did you face any challenges with that?
That was intense. It was hard because they were trying to transition from winter to spring and it was just impossible, because this winter was the worst one in 20 years. The snow was relentless, and we had to shovel things around. There’s a sequence in the pool that was difficult because the pool wasn’t heated, and it was freezing, and it was freezing outside, so that was brutal.
You have a very diverse, very impressive resume of roles that you’ve taken on. Do you have a favorite to watch, and do you have a favorite to shoot?
I just watch them all constantly around my walls; they’re just projecting me in all of my various roles. [Laughs] But I just finished watching Transparent and I really loved it. I just finished watching The Slap on NBC, which is based on an Australian novel, and I really enjoyed that. I suppose I’ve been watching more series lately, yeah.
He got his first real acting break in crime thriller Two Hands alongside fellow Australian Rose Byrne when he was 20. And once his Hollywood career was launched in movies like The Patriot, Monster Ball and, perhaps most famously, Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger opened his Los Angeles home to struggling Aussie actors.
Recalling his inordinate generosity, Dallas Doll star Rose, who is judging this year’s Heath Ledger scholarship programme, told Sunrise on Wednesday: ‘He was an incredibly generous guy. […] He always had multiple people staying at his house, like me. There was an open-door policy, he always helped, and he would always pay for everything.’
The actress, who met the star on Two Hands – in which they played on-screen lovers- and later become a close friend in real life, said Ledger put himself out to help others. ‘He was such a generous person and that scholarship continues that spirit on.’
The Sydney-born star is on the judging panel of this year’s scholarship programme alongside actors Vince Vaughn and Ben Mendelsohn. Heath died at age 28, as a result of an accidental overdose of six different types of prescription medications in New York in 2008. His legacy of giving continues, however, in the scholarship that offers $10,000 grants to give Australia’s rising stars the chance to emulate the Oscar winner’s experience as an actor.