Rose Byrne, 2008
|Born||Mary Rose Byrne
24 July 1979
Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Mary Rose Byrne (born 24 July 1979), best known as Rose Byrne, is an Australian actress. She has appeared in feature films, including 28 Weeks Later, Troy, Sunshine, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Knowing and Marie Antoinette, but is probably best-known for her ongoing role of Ellen Parsons in the US television series Damages.
Byrne was born in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, of Irish and Scottish descent, the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher. She attended Balmain Public School and Hunters Hill High School before attending Bradfield Senior College in Crows Nest. She has an older brother, George, and two older sisters, Alice and Lucy. She began taking acting classes at age eight, joining the Australian Theatre for Young People and also attended the University of Sydney. In 1999 Byrne studied acting at the Atlantic Theatre Company developed by David Mamet and William H. Macy. Rose's family was not religious. Both of her parents are atheists, while she describes herself as agnostic.
Byrne was cast in her first film role, Dallas Doll, when she was 12 years old. She has appeared in a variety of Australian television shows including Heartbreak High, Echo Point, and the film Two Hands alongside Heath Ledger. She appeared in The Date, My Mother Frank, and Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967 for which she obtained the Female Volpi Cup at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. Meanwhile, she appeared as a guest in an episode of the cop drama series Murder Call. She also acted on stage, playing a lead role in La Dispute and starred in a production of Anton Chekhov's classic Three Sisters at the Sydney Theatre Company.
Byrne has appeared in the music videos of Darren Hayes's single "I Miss You", M.Craft's "Sweets", and starred with Australian musician Alex Lloyd in the music video for his single "Black The Sun", as well as featuring on the cover artwork for the EP. She also appeared in a television commericial for Sony.
In 2002, Byrne entered Hollywood with a small role as Dormé, the handmaiden to Natalie Portman's Senator Padmé Amidala, in George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. She appeared the same year in City of Ghosts with Matt Dillon.
The year previously she had flown to the UK to shoot I Capture the Castle, Tim Fywell's adaptation of the 1948 novel of the same title by Dodie Smith. In the 2003 release, she portrayed Rose Mortmain, the elder sister of Romola Garai's Cassandra. In 2003 she also starred in three Australian films: The Night We Called It a Day alongside Melanie Griffith and Dennis Hopper; The Rage in Placid Lake for which she was named Best Actress at the Australian Film Institute with singer Ben Lee; and Take Away, another comedy.
In 2004, Byrne starred as Briseis, the Trojan priestess who is abducted during the Trojan War by Achilles (played by Brad Pitt), in Wolfgang Petersen's epic Troy, also starring Eric Bana, Peter O’Toole, Sean Bean, and Orlando Bloom. She then reunited with Peter O'Toole in the acclaimed BBC TV drama Casanova. Byrne appeared with Snoop Dogg in Danny Green's film The Tenants, based on Bernard Malamud's novel, and starred with Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger in the romantic psychological thriller Wicker Park where she played Alex, the woman who manipulated Josh Hartnett's character to keep him apart from the woman he falls in love with.
In 2006 Byrne portrayed Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac, a French aristocrat and friend of Marie Antoinette, in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, alongside Kirsten Dunst, and appeared in The Dead Girl, directed by Karen Moncrieff. She and Marie Antoinette director Sofia Coppola have both played handmaidens in the Star Wars prequels: Coppola appeared in The Phantom Menace, Byrne in Attack of the Clones.
In 2007, she played Cassie, the pilot in Danny Boyle's science fiction suspense film Sunshine, Scarlett Ross, an army medical officer in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's sci-fi horror 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to Boyle's 28 Days Later, and appeared in the independent film Just Buried, a Canadian dark comedy written and directed by Chaz Thorne.
Byrne is currently in an FX drama production Damages, playing the regular lead role of Ellen Parsons, a young attorney torn between her hard-hitting, high-stakes new boss (Glenn Close) and her own ambitions.
Byrne has supported UNICEF Australia by being the face of the 2007 Designers United campaign and a member of tropfest jury in 2006 and tropfest@tribeca in 2007. She is a graduate and ambassador for NIDA's (National Institute of Dramatic Art) Young Actors Studio. She was recently named the first patron of Chauvel Cinemas presented by the Brisbane International Film Festival and named in honour of Charles Chauvel.
In 2009, she co-starred alongside Nicolas Cage in the science fiction thriller, Knowing. Later that year, she appeared in the indie flick, Adam, with Hugh Dancy. Byrne has also recently completed the comedy film, Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill, set for release in 2010.
Byrne had been in a relationship with Australian writer, director and actor Brendan Cowell for over six years. For much of the time their relationship had been maintained at long-distance, with work commitments meaning they were often on separate continents. However, Cowell had moved from Sydney to New York City, due to Byrne's success on Damages. The couple split in January 2010.
Previously she dated Australian writer, director Gregor Jordan who directed her in Two Hands. She is known to family and close friends as Chabs after a family cat she had in her youth named Chablis, after the wine, a favourite of her native Australia.
|1994||Dallas Doll||Rastus Sommers|
|2000||My Mother Frank||Jenny|
|The Goddess of 1967||BG|
|2002||Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Dormé|
|City of Ghosts||Sabrina|
|2003||I Capture the Castle||Rose Mortmain|
|The Night We Called It a Day||Audrey Appleby|
|Monster||Uncredited Role, Drinking Girl in a Bar with Selby, one of the friends of Selby at the amusement park|
|The Rage in Placid Lake||Gemma Taylor|
|Take Away||Sonja Stilano|
|2005||The Tenants||Irene Bell|
|2006||Marie Antoinette||Gabrielle de Polastron, duchesse de Polignac|
|The Dead Girl||Leah|
|28 Weeks Later||Major Scarlett Ross|
|2008||Just Buried||Roberta Knickle|
|The Tender Hook||Iris|
|2010||Get Him to the Greek||Jackie Q||completed|
|1995||Echo Point||Belinda O Conor||Lead character|
|1997||Fallen Angels||Siobhan||Guest (1 episode)|
|Wildside||Heidi Benson||Guest (2 episodes)|
|1999||Big Sky||Angie||Guest (1 episode)|
|Heartbreak High||Carly Whitely||Guest (3 episodes)|
|2000||Murder Call||Sarah Watson||Guest (1 episode)|
|2005||Casanova||Edith||BBC Mini series|
|2007–present||Damages||Ellen Parsons||Lead character|
|2009||The Chaser's War on Everything||Herself|