New month, new releases, new topic: Have you seen this face?
It was pointed out to me once that I never write about actresses. It seems odd that I would have a bunch of posts on actors and yet completely disregard the female side of the movie biz. Granted, I wrote a post about Zooey Deschanel a few months back, but I was mostly discussing the musical side of her portfolio. And so, to counter this lack of non-male topics, I present to you Rose Byrne.
To say that I first saw Ms. Byrne at work in the amazing FX drama Damages would technically be a lie, but that’s certainly where she first captured my attention. I started watching Damages as the first season aired, and I was fairly mindfucked by the whole experience. That show is written in such a specific and atypical manner, yet it somehow seems to make perfect sense. It’s one of the few shows today that is successfully written entirely without filler, which is probably why it’s been so critically acclaimed. However, it’d be ridiculous to give credit only to the show’s writers and ignore the fact that both female leads in the show are playing their roles amazingly well. Glenn Close is, well, a legend in the acting field, and probably needs no further discussion. But what about Rose Byrne? The character of Ellen Parsons appears at first to be a fairly simple and straight-forward one, but she definitely develops over time. By the end of the first season, you’re completely re-thinking your original assumptions, and by the end of the third, you don’t know what to think. The character is simply played flawlessly by Ms. Byrne throughout the series.
I was so impressed by her in Damages that I had to look up the rest of her body (of work) online. I was a bit surprised when I browsed her IMDB page and noticed that I had seen a bunch of the movies she has been in, and yet never taken a second glance. Now that I’ve gone through it all again, I don’t really understand how she could have gone unnoticed. Her role in 28 Weeks Later (fantastic movie, if you haven’t seen it) was small but necessary, and I must have seen that movie a dozen times by now. How did I not connect the dots? She can also be seen in the very trippy film Sunshine, the thoroughly over-watched Troy, and, more recently, the Nicolas Cage-infested movie Knowing, which had great special effects and good acting, but a horrible script/plot.
Most recently, I went to see Get Him To The Greek and was surprised to see Rose in there, playing sexy pop vocalist Jackie Q, and sporting a wickedly sexy accent. I was even more shocked when I discovered that Ms. Byrne is actually Australian! I got so used to seeing her in Damages as an American, that I never even acknowledged the fact that she may have been from elsewhere to begin with. Hearing her speak with an accent was like the first time I heard Hugh Laurie’s British accent. Mind = Blown.