Rose Byrne made her name as lawyer Ellen Parsons alongside Glenn Close in the long-running TV series Damages.
Now the 33-year-old Aussie – a star of films such as Bridesmaids, Insidious and X-Men: First Class – has a lead role in British rom-com I Give It A Year.
Here Rose talks to Garth Pearce about what she learned from her mother.
My mum, Jane, taught me that what counts about people is what’s on the inside, not the outside.
She was totally right — in relationships, beauty should be in the eye of the beholder.
There are so many factors — humour, kindness, warmth and someone who will stick by you in tough times.
As an actor, I work in an industry which is obsessed with looks so I can tell you that some of the world’s best-looking men are as dull as doorknobs.
Actors even have whole conversations with themselves while looking in a mirror. I have chosen to work in this business, so I accept it. But is it sexy? No.
I can’t say I’ve fallen in love at first sight — more like lust. I fancy people at first sight.
I think I’m more practical than romantic. I have only had a few serious relationships, but not with actors.
I can’t say I have avoided them — it’s just how it’s happened.
I had love scenes with Brad Pitt in Troy, who was then rated as the world’s sexiest man. He was an incredible guy to work with, but nothing more.
I also worked with Heath Ledger when I was 18 (in Two Hands), Josh Hartnett (in Wicker Park) and Patrick Wilson (Insidious), who is gorgeous.
I get on very well with actors on film sets. In I Give It A Year, Rafe Spall was hilarious. We just clicked and became good friends. There was also Simon Baker, who had to play a character who was keen on me.
Film sets are unreal settings for real romance. That’s my own opinion, rather than anything I’ve experienced, because relationships start on sets all the time.
My mum is a teacher in Sydney and has always dealt with the realities of life. She’s been in some tough jobs and has dealt with tough kids, too. That is REAL work.
I’m the youngest of four and mum went back to work when I was about five or six. But when she knew I wanted to be an actress, she never said, “Get a proper job”. I have been fortunate with my mum and dad, Robin, as they are still together.
So many actors seem to have parents who are split or who don’t support them. By the time I was 18, I was fairly on the mark, in the sense that we travelled a lot as a family and I was given sound advice.
It took me a long time to become confident, though. I was quite a shy person and that’s the reason, I think, that I enjoyed pretending to be other people.
I was a typical Australian kid. I was given Jason Donovan’s debut album and the first record I ever bought was Kylie’s Locomotion.
I met Kylie, socially, later in life. She is down to earth and so sweet but I felt, instantly, like a 12-year-old girl again in her company.
Mum would never interfere with my life. She would never say, for example, “You are 33 now, isn’t it time you married or had children?” I’ve never had a proposal.
I am also never keen to rush in to anything. Couples can be together for ten years, marry and then split after a year.
Mum allowed me to follow my own dreams. I moved to London for a time and bought a place with my sister in Hackney.
Though I now live in New York — I moved there for Damages — I still have the Hackney home and rent it out.
London is a brilliant city, the forefront of fashion, art, history, music and theatre. I have learnt that cities can be like people. There are more beautiful cities than London, but if you start to look on the inside it’s amazing what you can discover. So thanks, Mum.
Source: The Sun