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Rose Byrne

July 19, 2007|Michael Flaherty

Rose Byrne has some publicizing to do: This week sees the opening of a new movie -- Danny Boyle's "Alien"-meets-"Solaris" sci-fi flick "Sunshine" -- and FX's hotly anticipated legal thriller "Damages." The Australian actress, who turns 28 on Tuesday, plays the pilot of the Sunshine spaceship (on its way to reignite a dying sun) and a lawyer who joins an infamous firm run by Glenn Close. Byrne talks about working in the shadow of legends, comic relief and her sad, sad face.

Are you a sci-fi fan?

It's not my first choice of film to go and see, but it was really educational. [Boyle] screened a bunch of films for us, including the "Alien" trilogy.

Sigourney Weaver set the standard, didn't she? Do you get more of a love life than her "Alien" character?

Romance just doesn't work in space. It's very humbling, you know? That's why you can't have a lot of movie stars in space, 'cause it's bigger than anyone.

Speaking of legends, what's it like working with Glenn Close? Big movie stars on TV shows can be the 800-pound gorilla in the room....

Glenn has a great presence and she demands respect and all, but she doesn't bring anything to the set other than wanting the show to be as good as it can be. She's a team player, really generous, and she makes you act better. My scenes with her are my favorites; they're always the best written.

Recently, you've done "28 Weeks Later," an apocalyptic zombie movie, then "Sunshine," then "Damages." That's some dark stuff. I saw an Internet posting from a fan who asked, "How come Rose looks so sad all the time?"

[Laughs] I know! Right? I've gotten that all my life. It's my eyes--they're droopy and weird so I always look like something terrible has happened. But I'm really not miserable!

Your American accent is very convincing. Who can pull off an authentic Aussie accent? I've not met many. Kate Winslet did a good job in "Holy Smoke," but that's it.

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