If you don't know who Rose Byrne is, I'm going to give you two chances -- go see her new movie, Knowing, and check out her uber smart and dramatic show, Damages. I promise, if you do it, you won't regret it. Earlier this week, I had the chance to chat with Rose about her roles and, of course, her love life.
To explain Rose's character, here's some background on the film: The movie stars Nicolas Cage as professor John Koestler, the father of a young boy named Caleb. As part of a class project, Caleb and his fellow students open a time capsule that a previous class had created 50 years ago, in 1958. That class drew pictures of what they thought the future would look like. The drawing Caleb receives from the time capsule isn't a drawing at all - it's a paper filled with rows and rows of numbers.
When John studies the paper, he discovers that the numbers predict the dates, death tolls and coordinates of all the major disasters that have taken place in the past 50 years. However, there are three additional sets of numbers, telling John that these catastrophes have yet to occur.
To help him save the world from a global-scale disaster, he enlists the help of Diana (Rose Byrne), the daughter of the now-deceased author of the numbers.
Rose has actually been in a lot of sci-fi movies (Star Wars Episode II, Sunshine, 28 Weeks Later and Knowing), though she swears it's "pretty random" and "just a coincidence, really." That said, Rose has developed an affinity for the genre. "I think Sunshine really educated me on science fiction... Danny Boyle really took the cast under his wing and we watched a lot of science fiction classics. I got a bit of a crash course as it were and it definitely made me appreciate it."
Love and Relationships
Though Rose didn't seek out Knowing because of it's sci-fi nature, it didn't hurt that the movie was filming in Australia, her native country, giving the actress a chance to see her family. Rose, who's now living in New York City to film Damages, has made some really good friends in the States. When I interviewed her Damages costar, Noah Bean, he said that he Rose have "become great friends and hang out all the time."
Speaking of Noah, Rose has had the chance to work with some of the hottest stars, from Brad Pitt to Orlando Bloom to Nicolas Cage to Eric Bana. I asked Rose to give us some insight into what it's like to work with such good looking guys. "I'm incredibly spoiled, you know," Rose said. "They were mostly married with children. They're all very professional, so we weren't romantically involved, so I can't enlighten you on that, which is a shame." A shame, indeed!
Rose said that her long-time boyfriend, Brendan Cowell, An Australian writer, director and actor, is fine with her working with such studly stars. "He's worked with some great ladies," she said, laughing and adding that perhaps he did think twice about her working with Brad Pitt, "but that's understandable."
For those of you who are fans (and the rest of you should be!) of Damages -- the smartest show on TV -- Rose said, "I don't think she's [Patty Hewes, played by Glenn Close] all evil and she's clearly not all good. Sometimes you have to do a lot of bad to get the good done, and I think she falls in that category... Damages is not a comic book. It's not all good and all evil."
What about the situation with Uncle Pete? Did he try to kill Ellen Parsons (Rose's character) with or without Patty's knowledge? Rose says we'll find out the answer to that, though we might not know this season. (Suspense, much?!) In my opinion, knowing that will help us know how bad Patty really is.
I also asked Rose about how Ellen is supposed to stay sane and not end up in a mental institution. After all, her fiance was killed, and her new boyfriend, Wes (Timothy Olyphant) is working for the man who killed him. "I won't ruin it for you," Rose said, "but it's not resolved in this season. In a way, Wes is kind of a bit of a saint...He's got an incredibly complicated agenda." If Wes turns out to be good for Ellen... well, I need to see this! -- Jacki Garfinkel
Be sure to check out Knowing, which hits theaters on March 20, and Damages, on FX Wednesday nights at 10 pm.
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