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Rose Byrne On Life With Her Boys & Being Back Home

Growing up in the crowded suburb of Sydney’s Balmain, Rose Byrne was a quiet kid, whose parents encouraged her to pursue acting to combat her shyness. “I was never a super confident [young actor],” admits the now 41-year-old Byrne, her calm composure at odds with the younger self she is describing. “I look at social media and the savviness, sophistication and confidence of the young actors I now work with – millennials – and I think, ‘Wow, I never had that, ever.’”

Yet fast forward a few decades and the transformation from timid Aussie teen to Hollywood heavyweight is apparent – even down to the empowered female characters she chooses to immerse herself in.

In 2020, Byrne played iconic feminist Gloria Steinem in Mrs. America. The mini-series is based on the true story of the attempt in the 1970s to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in all 50 states of the USA, and Steinem’s unsuccessful battle against the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly (played by Cate Blanchett), who led the backlash against it.

At first glance, Byrne’s new gig – Physical, a 10-part, whip-smart comedy set against the backdrop of the aerobics craze of the ’80s – seems a far cry from Mrs. America’s serious historic bones, but both tell a story of society in flux, with feminism at the fore.

In Physical, Byrne plays a tortured Californian housewife, Sheila Rubin, who finds her power through exercise and eventually becomes a lifestyle guru with her workout videos, paving the way for the dime-a-dozen fitness influencers of today. “The show’s all about that whole generation of discovery – going from the ‘We’ generation [in the ’70s] to the ‘Me’ generation of today,” Byrne explains. “Now everybody’s an entrepreneur. Everyone’s got a clothing line or a candle line or a parenting blog or whatever. The ’80s was the beginning of that and this show is examining how it started.”

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Rose Byrne And Rory Scovel On ‘Physical,’ Aerobics Fashion, And Mixing Humor And Drama

From show creator Annie Weisman, the Apple TV+ original half-hour dark comedy series Physical is set in San Diego in the 1980s and follows Sheila Rubin (brilliantly played by Rose Byrne), an internally tortured and unhappy woman who maintains the facade of a dutiful housewife while supporting her husband (Rory Scovel) as he pursues a spot on the state assembly. Deep personal demons and an unhealthy relationship with her own self-image unexpectedly send Sheila straight into the world of aerobics and she decides to set her sights on finding success as a female lifestyle guru.

During a virtual junket for the series, co-stars Byrne and Scovel spoke to Collider for this interview about taking on such complex and challenging material, telling a story that was so personal for their showrunner, the ‘80s looks and aerobics fashion, and finding the tricky balance between the humor and exploring serious issues. Byrne also talked about why she lucked out when it came to her time working on Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, early on in her career.

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Christchurch Attacks: Producer Resigns From Film They Are Us As Criticism Grows

A producer for a controversial Hollywood film depicting Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Christchurch terror attacks has resigned from the project after criticisms that it sidelined Muslim victims.

The premise of the film, They Are Us, has also been criticised by its proposed subject, New Zealand prime minister Ardern, who is slated to be played by Rose Byrne. Ardern said on Sunday it felt “very soon and very raw” for New Zealand, and that she was not an appropriate focus for a film about the 2019 mosque attacks. “There are plenty of stories from March 15 that could be told, but I don’t consider mine to be one of them,” she said. Ardern has reiterated that she has no involvement with the film.

The movie was announced by the Hollywood Reporter on Friday, and billed as an “inspirational story about the young leader’s response to the tragic events”.

It immediately came under fire for centring on the leadership of a white woman against the backdrop of the mass murder of 51 Muslims by a white supremacist. Many Muslim New Zealanders criticised the move as “exploitative”, “insensitive”, and “obscene”. A petition to shut down the film’s production has gained about 60,000 signatures over the past three days.

On Monday, New Zealand producer Philippa Campbell announced that she was resigning from the proposed production. “I’ve listened to the concerns raised over recent days and I have heard the strength of people’s views. I now agree that the events of March 15, 2019 are too raw for film at this time and do not wish to be involved with a project that is causing such distress,” she said in a statement released to media.

“The announcement was focused on film business, and did not take enough account of the political and human context of the story in this country. It’s the complexity of that context I’ve been reflecting on that has led me to this decision.”

When the film was announced on Friday, writer and community advocate Guled Mire told the Guardian that the premise was “completely insensitive”.

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Rose Byrne: ‘I’m A Little Lazy When It Comes To Exercise’

Rose Byrne has admitted she is too “lazy” to ever become addicted to exercise.

The Bridesmaids actress has confessed that unlike her many of her friends who love to work out, she needs to push herself when it comes to hitting the gym.

“It’s an addictive thing, it gives you this rush,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “I have friends who dedicate their lives to it and I admire that, I see how much of a priority it can become. I’m a little bit lazy… I’m not that good. We Australians are outdoorsy but I do have to motivate myself.”

Rose had to step up her exercise regime and trained “for months in advance” to convince in her role as an aerobics instructor battling bulimia for Physical, a new series from Apple TV +.

The star was fascinated by the “raw” character and is proud to be involved in a project that tackles the issue of eating disorders and society’s unrealistic pursuit for perfection.

“There is so much irresponsibility in diet culture,” Rose said. “I have such a tortured – not tortured! – difficult relationship with social media because it can be so destructive.

“Disordered eating is not depicted that much onscreen and is either a punchline or a Lifetime movie. Its presentation in the show is never lurid but it’s tough to watch – it’s this awful, destructive cycle.”

The 41-year-old is thankful that, unlike her character, she has always managed to enjoy a healthy relationship with food.

“Look, I’m as self-conscious as the next person and of course this business is tough like that,” she shared. “You just have to navigate it. As I’ve got older, I’ve got better at it. But it’s hard, particularly as women.

“Growing up, my sisters and I were lucky enough to always be surrounded by good foods and we were encouraged to eat. I was never was exposed to body-shaming, but that’s pretty rare. It’s a hard thing to avoid.”


Tour The Pink Brooklyn Home Of Actors Rose Byrne And Bobby Cannavale

The gut restoration of this 2,700-square-foot Brooklyn brownstone—originally built in 1899—and new addition required historic preservation and modernization to coexist in a perfect balance. Actors Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale trusted Frederick Tang Architecture to execute this particular challenge while being truly involved in the whole project.

“Bobby and Rose were an integral part of collaborating in the design process,” says Frederick Tang, director of design and principal architect at Frederick Tang Architecture. “This project is a real expression of their personalities.”

The location, a one-block-long street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, known for having row houses each painted a different color, was key to making the design coherent. “We knew we wanted the home to take part in the series of the houses, but we also wanted to give it a fresh look,” remembers Frederick. “The decision on the pink actually came from the inside out.… As the project developed, the palette leaned towards pinks and greens, and it felt like a soft pink façade would be a fresh change but also would work with the flanking houses.”

Bobby and Rose’s love for this bold color combination was one of the main sources of inspiration for the team. “We used it generously, especially in unexpected areas like the leather-wrapped island base or leather inset at the desk, the bold foliage wallpaper, and the exterior,” says Barbara Reyes, director of design, interiors/branding at Frederick Tang Architecture.

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