8 Questions With … Rose Byrne

1. What has been your strangest fan encounter?Rose Byrne

The other day I went to this screening of a movie and — no one ever honestly knows who I am. I’m completely anonymous, especially in America. But someone started screaming at me, “Emma! Emma!” And I was like, “Who the hell does he think I am?” He thought I was that girl from Harry Potter [Emma Watson, who plays Hermione]. I was like, “She’s 17. I’ll take that.”

2. You’re at a magazine rack and can pick three magazines. What are they?

I’d just go for the trash. The filthiest trash. I’m very lowbrow. I could lie to you and say The New Yorker. But I’ll go with New York Magazine — I guess that’s not too dirty. Maybe like a filthy People, and then Vanity Fair.

3. Do you have a favorite sports team?

The Balmain Tigers [a rugby team from her native Sydney, Australia].

4. When was the last time you were starstruck?

I’m really shy with everybody. I went to the premiere of Milk the other day and I saw Sean Penn from afar. I remember being pretty freaked out about that.

5. If your TV only carried three shows, other than your own, which three would you want?

BBC World News, Extras and True Blood.

6. When is the last time you felt like crying?


7. Do you ever watch your own work?

I do, and then I have a meltdown and decide I’m going to become a plumber and think I should never watch it again.

8. What do people do wrong when they try to do an Australian accent?

[Damages costar] Tate Donovan insists on doing this hideous Australian accent, and he just sounds like he’s from Cockney Island or something. They tend to go too English instead of staying more back of the mouth. It’s a really hard accent to do. I’ve really not come across anyone who could do it, other than Kate Winslet in Holy Smoke. I thought she did a great job.

G’day, Rose. Thanks for playing. You can listen to Byrne sport an impeccable American accent as neophyte lawyer Ellen Parsons, who battles wits with Emmy winner Glenn Close, in Season 2 of Damages, which airs Wednesdays on FX.