After building momentum with a string of movies like Troy and Marie Antoinette, Rose Byrne finally found her spotlight in 2007 by earning a starring role opposite Glenn Close in FX's drama series, Damages. Now with Emmy and Golden Globe nominations under her belt, Byrne tells us more about working on one of the best shows on television.
SNMag: What did you think about the show when you first started shooting?
RB: I was nervous - first time on a US show and with the likes of Glenn. I was also freezing. Winter in New York is no joke! I'm from Australia and not equipped - I had a lame wool coat and some thermal socks. Tate Donovan was constantly making fun of me.
SNMag: How would you pitch the show to someone who has never seen it?
RB: A very contemporary legal thriller about the lives of lawyers - very smart and very tricky. And this season, some comedy too, I think!
SNMag: What can you tell us about the storyline for Season Three?
RB: It is loosely based on the events surrouding Bernie Madoff's scandals and other Wall St. disasters, and the theme of family.
SNMag: What will be the dynamic between Patty and Ellen at the beginning of Season Three?
RB: We tried to really approach it as Patty not getting under Ellen's skin, and the dynamic with that alone is so loaded. Patty does not like losing control over anybody.
SNMag: What has been your experience working with Glenn Close?
RB: Incredible. Glenn is brilliant and simply raises everyone's game. My favorite scenes are always with her. She has also been so welcoming to me here in New York and her family are wonderful.
SNMag: You've had some amazing guest stars on the show. Was there anyone in particular you were excited to work with?
RB: I loved having Timothy Olyphant on last season - we had a great story, lots of fun and tension. I am a huge Lily Tomlin fan who joins us this season but have yet to have a scene with her. I accosted her in Dean and Deluca when we were shooting downtown on the same day. She was great.
SNMag: Ellen seems to be set on a path where she’s becoming as cunning and power-hungry as Patty. How do you feel about the shift in Ellen's character since the first season?
RB: Season One she was a child, Season Two she was a teenager and in Season Three she is an adult. After what she went through I am surprised she didn't murder Patty herself! I think she has adjusted fairly well to the circumstances her life has thrown at her.
SNMag: Which aspect of the show are you most proud of?
RB: The originality of the show and its writing. It is so smart and so unpredictable. I dont think I can ever appreciate enough how hard that is to do in a television format which can have its limitations with time and schedules and networks.
SNMag: What other TV shows are you watching right now?
RB: Breaking Bad. Brilliant.
Damages airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on FX
By Carla Thorpe