Ever since she was a little girl, Rose Byrne has been entertaining. In fact, it was her older sisters who encouraged her to pursue a career in acting by enrolling in acting classes. Rose attended the Australian Theatre for Young People. ‘They offered various courses,’ she said, ‘and I started there when I was about eight and went ’til I was about 15.’ She then attempted to get into NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art Sydney Australia) or one of its competitors, but with no luck. ‘I auditioned for them all, but didn’t get in. I was shattered!’ However, she now serves as an ambassador for the Young Actors Studio, NIDA.
After graduating from the Australian Theatre for Young People, she attended Bradfield College in northern Sydney for years 11 and 12. ‘It’s like a university, where you don’t wear a uniform and you can smoke on campus if you want, and where you call the teachers by their first names. They had a really good drama department there, which is why I went.’
When she was thirteen, she auditioned for and got the part in her first film role, Dallas Doll. ‘It was the first audition I’d ever done, so I was sort of very “wow!”, and once I got there, I thought: “Well, OK, this is what I want to do!”’ She then proceeded to appear in minor roles in various Australian soap operas (Echo Point, Fallen Angels, Wildside, Heartbreak High). In 1999, Rose appeared in two low-budget theatrical films: The Date and Two Hands (co-starring Heath Ledger). She then did a two-month acting course in Manhattan , New York . In 2000, Rose was awarded Best Female Performance at the Venice Festival for her role in The Goddess of 1967. During this time, she also appeared in three stage plays with the Sydney Theatre Company, including Three Sisters and La Dispute.
Rose broke into Hollywood in 2002, appearing in a minor role in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. ‘Star Wars, for me, was very easy, in a way, because I only had twelve days on set in Sydney and I really just had to stand behind Natalie Portman looking very demure.’ She then went on to star in I Capture the Castle (2003). She starred opposite Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger in Wicker Park (2004) played Brad Pitt’s hand-picked love interest in Troy . In 2005, she appeared in a BBC television adaptation of Casanova and starred alongside Snoop Dogg and Dylan McDermott in The Tenants. In 2006, she appeared in Marie Antoinette.
In 2007, she was in The Dead Girl, Sunshine, and 28 Weeks Later. She has also accepted a part in the an FX television show Damages, starring alongside Glenn Close and a film noir, The Tender Hook. In 2008, she filmed Just Buried, Knowing, and the Sundance film Adam. For the most up to date details on her career, please have a look at her filmography.
It’s safe to say Rose will always know success, but in her immortal words: ‘Knowing there’s no guarantees is one of the things that keeps you sane. You just have to keep at it.’