Mary Rose Byrne is an Australian actress. Byrne made her screen debut in 1992 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 the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. From 2007 to 2012, she played Ellen Parsons in the cable television series Damages, which earned her two Golden Globe Award and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Along with co-star Glenn Close, she appeared in all of the show's fifty-nine episodes. Byrne has also starred in the films Troy, 28 Weeks Later, Knowing, Insidious, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Apocalypse, as well as the comedies Get Him to the Greek, Bridesmaids, Neighbors, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and Spy.
Byrne was cast in her first film role, Dallas Doll, when she was 13 years old. She has appeared in several Australian television shows, such as 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, the last of which gained her the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 57th Venice International Film Festival in 2000.
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; and Take Away, another comedy.
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. Byrne also starred in the Kristen Wiig comedy Bridesmaids, released on 13 May 2011. She received overwhelmingly positive reviews for her portrayal of Helen, Kristen Wiig's rival. She played Moira MacTaggert in the X-Men spin-off X-Men: First Class, directed by Matthew Vaughn.
In 2013, Byrne appeared in the crime drama The Place Beyond the Pines, with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, and appeared in the comedy, The Internship, opposite Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson; and The Turning, a short film installment in a Tim Winton omnibus feature. Byrne also played the newlywed wife in I Give It a Year, a comedy about the trials and tribulations of a couple during their first year of marriage.
Byrne worked again with fellow Australians James Wan and Leigh Whannell for the sequel to Insidious. Insidious: Chapter 2 was released on Friday, 13 September 2013, and also featured actors Patrick Wilson and Lin Shaye. The film received mixed reviews from critics and became the biggest opening day in US box office history for the month of September following its release. Insidious: Chapter 2 was a financial success grossing over US$160 million against a budget of US$5 million.
In 2014, Byrne starred in the comedy film Neighbors, alongside Seth Rogen and Zac Efron. The film received positive reviews and went on to become a box office success. A remake of the 1982 classic, Annie, featured Byrne playing the role of Grace Farrell, Mr. Stacks' colleague. Byrne's performance was mostly praised with reviewers calling her the surprise highlight of the movie. In 2015, Byrne co-starred with Melissa McCarthy, Jude Law and Jason Statham in the hit comedic action tale Spy, and in 2016, she reprised her role as Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: Apocalypse.
In 2016, Rebecca Skloot (author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks) announced that Byrne would be playing Skloot in the HBO film adaptation of her book. The film will also star Oprah Winfrey and Reneé Elise Goldsberry. She will be starring alongside Sandra Bullock, Rachel Weisz, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Zooey Deschanel, and Anna Kendrick in We Are Your Fist.
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