Rose Byrne’s ascent to comedy stardom has been a surprise to everyone but herself.
"Don’t you have a lock?” Rose Byrne asks, her forehead creasing with concern under her bathing cap. We’re in the women’s locker room at the YMCA on 14th Street, steps away from the pool—the only pool, Byrne has informed me, that she has found in her decade-plus of living in New York that comes close to replicating the spacious outdoor ones in her native Sydney, Australia. An avid swimmer, Byrne hasn’t been here in six weeks, ever since she gave birth to her first child - Rocco, with Vinyl star Bobby Cannavale - which may be why she looks so dismayed that I’m now holding up the works by forgetting a padlock. Then again, Byrne’s face, with its pouty lips and big Bambi eyes, is naturally melancholic. Still, I feel a flash of guilt that I’ve delayed what is probably an innate Australian need to plunge into water by failing to predict that this Y, with its vinyl chairs and cheery posters, could be a hotbed of pool-locker thieves. A metallic clang sounds behind us, and an elderly woman in a skort shuffles by with a walker. Byrne gives me a wry look: See? There’s an element here.
Which is a perfect small-but-telling example of the sensibility that has made Byrne, as The Hollywood Reporter clunkily put it, “the most in-demand supporting actress for comedies.”
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