Rose Byrne would rather appear in a comedy than win an Oscar. The 31-year-old actress admits her career has changed dramatically since appearing in ‘Get Him to the Greek’ and Bridesmaids and she loves the material she is now being offered. She said: “Doing ‘Greek’ and ‘Bridesmaids’ has been a massive turning point for me. “I’m Australian. I love humour. I come from a family that laughs a lot and my favourite films are comedies. “Some people want the Oscar and others want the big role. But I’ve always wanted to do comedy.”
Rose’s career floundered after she appeared in ‘Troy’ with Brad Pitt, and she admits her subsequent struggle to find work damaged her confidence. She added in an interview with The Times newspaper: “‘Troy’ was huge and yet I didn’t work for a long time after it. That definitely affected my confidence.” Rose recently spoke of how much fun she had working on ‘Bridesmaids’ with Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. She said: “I think you can tell on the screen that we were having a lot of fun. Everyone has a glint in their eye.”
The obvious first question is have you ever been a bridesmaid?
No, but I was a flower girl when I was 10.
What do you think of the whole bridesmaid ordeal, from buying the dresses to throwing the parties? Has it become overly commercialized?
No, I think it’s all relevant. When it is done for the right reasons, it can be quite poignant and beautiful. All of my girlfriends have gone through the wedding ritual, except for me. It is fascinating.
The film does seem to showcase every archetype of the potential bridesmaid.
It does. I know a Helen, as I am sure most people do. Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, the writers, really wanted to show these representations and bring the comedy to it.
Did you all do any type of bonding before hand to get to know each other?
We had a rehearsal period, which was great, so we could improvise and just get to know each other. Kristen arranged a dinner for us and then we went to an all male strip revue on Hollywood Boulevard.
The research an actor has to do for their job…
I know (laughs). We did have a lot of fun.
Kristen Wiig is such a funny lady.
She is. She is quite private and shy. I am sure I am not the first to say that. She is very kind and very bright and so talented. She was so protective of all of us on set. We were all supportive when we felt someone was having a great moment. That was really nice.
In the film, there was that great first battle between you and Kristen over the microphone. How much of that was purely scripted and how much was organic out of the moment?
It was both. We had a scripted version and then we did improvisation. It was great fun, but it was hard for me to keep a straight face.
Your character Helen is quite competitive. Are you a competitive person?
Helen is very competitive. As for me, I don’t think I am competitive. I am ambitious, but not really competitive.
Helen is obviously the bad person of the piece, yet she never does anything malicious in the film.
She does give Kristen a sleeping pill and a glass of scotch. My first question when I took the part was how aware is Helen of her questionable behavior? That is what I needed to figure out. She does have some redeeming qualities at the end. For me, it was a challenge to play her.
Helen is pathologically lonely. She is competitive and has no real friends. She is a control freak and obsessed with Lillian. Helen is a very complicated character to play. I wanted to find out what made her tick. Everyone has a Helen in his or her life.
Did you tap into any particular Helen then to play this part?
I tapped into a few Helen’s in my life. I am not sure each will be able to recognize the fact I am using them.
Where do you see Helen in you?
I am a little bit of a control freak. Helen is so unaware of how badly she treats people. I am really aware of people.
After having done GET HIM TO THE GREEK and now BRIDESMAIDS, is comedy something you feel more comfortable concentrating on?
I have been enjoying doing the genre. In this film, most of those girls have a background with SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE or the Groundlings improvisational group. I come from another world altogether so even to be amongst those women was a real honor, yet terrifying.
Are you funny in real life?
I don’t think so. I am a good audience. Australians really find the humor in things, but I don’t do things that might bring the house down.
How did you adjust to improve then?
With GET HIM TO THE GREEK, we did a lot of improvising, so I learned how to break a scene down and go with the moment. Having to use an American accent made me go slower. These girls were incredible. I don’t know how much of the film was improvised, but we did a lot.
How do you feel when you hear this could be a female HANGOVER? We normally don’t see women do gross out humor and yet here it is showcased.
I don’t see the film as a female HANGOVER. It is about this woman’s life that falls apart and the wedding is merely a catalyst for it. Women like bawdy humor and will enjoy the fact that the women in this film really own it. I am really the straight man in the film against all these hilarious ladies. I believe men will enjoy this film, as well as women.
Helen talks in the movie about how we change through life. Do you think this is true?
I think we are essentially the same people that we were as ten year olds. I think we just evolve into better people. It is an interesting question, so maybe some people can and some cannot.