Mary Rose Byrne (born 24 July 1979) is an Australian actress.
Byrne made her screen debut in 1994 with a small role in the film Dallas Doll. In 2000 she played a leading role in the Australian film The Goddess of 1967, which brought her a Venice Film Festival award for Best Actress.
Since 2007, she has played Ellen Parsons in the cable television series Damages, which has earned her two Golden Globe Awards nominations and two Emmy Awards nominations. In 2011, she starred in the financially successful films Insidious, X-Men: First Class and Bridesmaids.
Byrne was born in Balmain, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, of Irish and Scottish descent (her grandfather was an Irish immigrant to Australia). She is the daughter of Jane, a primary school administrator, and Robin Byrne, a semi-retired statistician and market researcher. She is the youngest of their four children; she has an older brother, George, and two older sisters, Alice and Lucy. Both of her parents are atheists, and she describes herself as agnostic. Byrne attended Balmain Public School and Hunters Hill High School before attending Bradfield College in Crows Nest. She began taking acting classes at age eight, joining the Australian Theatre for Young People and later attended the University of Sydney. In 1999, Byrne studied acting at the Atlantic Theatre Company developed by David Mamet and William H. Macy.
Byrne was cast in her first film role, Dallas Doll, when she was 13 years old. She has appeared in several Australian television shows including Heartbreak High and Echo Point, and the film Two Hands with Heath Ledger. She appeared in The Date, My Mother Frank, and Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967 for which she was award the Volpi Cup for "Best Actress" at the 2000 Venice Film Festival. She appeared as a guest in an episode of the police drama series Murder Call. On stage, she played a lead role in La Dispute and in a production of Anton Chekhov's classic Three Sisters at the Sydney Theatre Company.
In 2002, Byrne made her first appearance in a Hollywood film with a small role as Dormé, the handmaiden to Natalie Portman's Senator Padmé Amidala, in 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 starred in three Australian films: The Night We Called It a Day with 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 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, with Kirsten Dunst, and appeared in The Dead Girl, directed by Karen Moncrieff.
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 science fiction 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.
Since 2007, Byrne has appeared in the FX drama production Damages, playing the regular lead role of Ellen Parsons, a young attorney torn between her new boss, played by Glenn Close, and her own ambitions.
She appeared in the Australian film noir The Tender Hook with Hugo Weaving.
In 2009, Byrne co-starred with Nicolas Cage in the science fiction thriller, Knowing. Later that year, she appeared in the indie film, Adam, with Hugh Dancy. She appeared in the 2010 comedy film, Get Him to the Greek, starring Russell Brand and Jonah Hill and she was joint lead in the James Wan horror film Insidious, which premiered in September 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on general release on 1 April 2011.
Byrne also starred in the Kristen Wiig comedy, Bridesmaids, released on 13 May 2011. On 15 August 2010, it became public that she had been cast in the role of Moira MacTaggert in the X-Men spin-off, X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn. The movie opened 3 June 2011.
Byrne has employed several different accents in her films: Australian, English, American, and Canadian.
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Rose Byrne Arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City