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.
25 May 2015 admin Comment Articles, Interviews, Press