It's Rose Byrne's time to shineMay 13, 2014

Like Russell Crowe, Rose Byrne didn't have second thoughts on pursuing a Hollywood career when the chance came. Hers happened after the success of "Two Hands" (1999).

Greg Jordan wrote and directed a crime caper made engaging by its dark humour, about a young chap who got into trouble after the $10,000 he was asked to deliver was stolen. Heath Ledger was that fellow, who was about to become a Hollywood star after the release of "10 Things I Hate About You". Byrne was his love interest, and after "Two Hands", she never looked back. But she rather not talked about her late co-star.

"The film was a big part of my life in Australia. It was a hit back home for both of us and I really think it holds up," she said.

Then came supporting roles in movies like "Troy" (2004).

"Most of my screen-time was with Brad Pitt," Byrne said. "I think everyone called him that on set. Though not to his face. “Where’s BP?” “Has BP gone for lunch?'" Naturally, the actress garnered plenty of attention as Pitt’s on-screen love interest. "When you work with someone of that stature, that’s all you’re going to be inundated with and asked about," she said. "But it was fine. If I was reading a magazine, I’d want to know what he was like, too."

She also appeared in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002), playing Dormé, the handmaiden to Senator Padmé Amidala, then her part as Yolande de Polastron, the queen's favourite in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" (2006). Roles in "Sunshine" and "28 Weeks Later", both by Danny Boyle, followed. The next few years saw the native of Sydney in "Damages", a legal thriller series, along with Glenn Close. Then "Bridesmaid", a comedy written by costar Kristen Wiig, a Saturday Night Live alumnae. She played Helen, a lady so perfect that everyone around her shuddered. She was the opposite of Annie, played by Wiig, their meeting causing (comic) tension. The film became a sleeper hit. It was also Byrne's time to shine.

"When I read for Helen in my audition, I knew I wanted to play her because she’s just so kind of awful, but end up feeling sorry for her," she said.

Byrne's latest is "Neighbors", another comedy, sharing top billing with Seth Rogen and Zach Efron.

"We really wanted to not make her the stock nagging wife. 'Don’t go out to the party!' They even have a scene where they reference that, and he says, 'You’ve got to be responsible, you’re the woman' and that misogyny. I think it made for a funnier film, making them a comedy duo rather than have them against each other," she said of her character.

Her next feature is "Annie", the latest take on Harold Gray's comic strip, "Little Orphan Annie". It will be another comedy, which makes Byrne yearn for dramatic roles.

"It would be good to do something dramatic. I haven’t done something dramatic for awhile. I don’t know if I even can anymore," she said.

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