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Rose Byrne on "Wicker Park"

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Rose Byrne Wicker Park

Rose Byrne stars in "Wicker Park"

© MGM
Updated August 31, 2004
Josh Hartnett, Diane Kruger, and Rose Byrne star in “Wicker Park,” an American remake of the French movie, “L’Appartement.” Directed by Paul McGuigan, the film follows Hartnett as a man who obsesses over the loss of a girlfriend, and then finds himself the object of someone else’s obsession.

“Wicker Park” co-star Rose Byrne developed a loyal fan following after playing Padme Amidala’s loyal servant Dormé in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” Byrne followed up that high profile film with roles in smaller productions including “City of Ghosts” and “I Capture the Castle.” She also had a prominent role in the epic motion picture, “Troy,” as Brad Pitt’s love interest. In “Wicker Park,” she plays the enigmatic, manipulative Alex, a woman with many secrets.

INTERVIEW WITH ROSE BYRNE ('Alex'):

Could you identify with this character?
For sure, absolutely. I’ve certainly been the victim of a broken heart and I’ve probably done less than [decorous] kinds of things to try and get someone’s attention.

What’s the worst thing you tried to do?
I’ve never done anything as drastic as Alex does, but I had a dreadful crush on someone once. I used to drive, pretty pathetically, I’d just drive by their house all the time and they didn’t know who I was. I’d just drive by the house all the time. I once knocked on the window and I thought, “What am I doing? What am I going to say if they come to the door and don’t know who I am?”

Did you see the original film this movie’s based on?
Yes, I did. I saw the original.

Did that predicate your choice to take this role?
Well, no. I just auditioned really. I didn’t see the film until after I had been cast in the movie, after I’d got the part.

How do you compare your interpretation?
I’d say pretty different. I’d have to see the original again to comment. I don’t want to say because it was a long time ago that I saw it, but I really enjoyed [Romane Bohringer’s] portrayal. I remember I thought she was really fantastic, the original actress who played the role. She was excellent.

Is it easy for you to go between accents?
I was very determined to nail the American accent because it’s very distracting when you can hear it in someone’s performance and it takes you out of the story. It’s the first thing you comment [on] when you leave the cinema. Like, “What about the accent? Where were they from?” We grew up on American television in Australia, so it’s not that far removed. And I made sure I trained before I left and then I spoke with the accent the whole time, on and off set.

How was the audition process here?
Hollywood has always been competitive. Every young actress in the world comes through or is here, so you’ve just got to keep it all in perspective about what you’re doing. But yeah, it’s definitely a competitive place.

How disorienting was the set when you jumping back and forth in time during filming?
It was a little disorientating but I just made sure I was really prepared every time before I went in to do a scene. I just had to be really, really prepared. That was good. It made me work harder and I felt like I accomplished something.

Did you pay attention to making sure takes of different perspectives of the same situation looked the same?
Yeah, oh yeah. The continuity woman was going crazy trying to figure out all those shapes of which perspectives and linear and story and flashback, flash-forward, where were we. There were so many and so much of that going on, it was quite funny.

Was it confusing to read the script?
I always understood it. To me, there’s holes in it, but you get the general idea of what’s going on. And that, to me, it was all the emotional story that I was interested in than the actual technical thing of what she does. It was more the emotional journey.

Have you ever experienced obsessive love?
No, I haven’t. Not really. Not to this extreme. I mean, I’ve been in relationships where someone has liked someone more than the other; the balance of power. But never where someone has taken an identity or broken into my house or stolen something like that. I’ve never been a victim of that.

Did you research actresses who’ve played disturbed women?
Yeah, I mean, obviously I did watch “Fatal Attraction.” I watched a few Hitchcock films actually because the French filmmaker was inspired by Hitchcock a lot. I watched “Rear Window” and “Dial M for Murder” and “The Birds,” just to get a general idea of films with suspense and the revealing of characters. I tried to look at a few female roles that had that kind of element of stalker quality. At the end of the day, you just have to show up on set and do the scene the best you can.

PAGE 2: Rose Byrne on Obsessive Love, Playing a Bad Girl, and "Star Wars"

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