You could say Rose Byrne, known for her roles in Bridesmaids, Neighbors, and Like A Boss, is a funny girl. But she didn’t always see herself that way. In fact, her big break came from the highly-rated TV drama series Damages, in which she played young and scrappy attorney Ellen Parsons.

It wasn’t until one of her agents advised her to take herself less seriously that she decided to give comedy a try and utilize her sense of humor.

“I was a very young, earnest actress,” she tells InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown during this week’s episode of Ladies First with Laura Brown. “One of my agents in Australia said to me, ‘We need to get you in something funny, because you’re funny.’ And the thing about comedy is that people who are funny in real life aren’t necessarily funny actors, and funny actors aren’t necessarily funny people.”

Luckily it turns out that Byrne is hilarious both on and off screen. She went on to star in some of the most influential comedies over the last two decades (more on that later). But back before her big break, the Australian actress was living in L.A. and auditioning for about 10 years before landing Damages.

Damages was a great turning point,” she says. “And then I think that gave me a lot of confidence that I needed perhaps, and particularly working with someone like Glenn Close — she’s just such a power, you know, she’s Glenn Close, dude. So, everyday going to work with this formidable legend was like a fast-track. And that I think was a huge turning point in getting confidence. And also the show was really well-received.”

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