For Rose Byrne, family is everything, as she opens up about her ‘bonkers’ life raising two young kids

Cast member Rose Byrne poses at a photo call for the movie "Peter Rabbit" in West Hollywood, California, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RC11A573AC00
Cast member Rose Byrne poses at a photo call for the movie "Peter Rabbit" in West Hollywood, California, U.S., February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RC11A573AC00

MiNDFOOD travelled to Manhattan to speak to Sydney-born actress Rose Byrne, to talk to her about her new comedy, ‘Instant Family’, in which she stars with Mark Wahlberg, a true story about adoption and the foster care system in the U.S.

Once regarded as a dramatic actress, primarily for her role in Damages, in which she starred with Glenn Close (2007 – 2012) Byrne turned her career around and tried her hand at comedy, beginning with Get Him to the Greek, followed by Bridesmaids, The Internship, the franchise Neighbours, and Spy.

Offscreen, she’s married to actor Bobby Cannavale with whom she is raising their two sons, Rocco, 2 and a half, and Rafa, 12 months old, in Brooklyn, New York.

What an amazing family, and the fact that its based on a true story, did it make you think about adopting?

You know what, after doing this movie I realised I was pretty naive about the foster system and the adoptive system. You can’t not do a movie like this and think and consider, of course, what would I do? Could I do this and if you have the means to do it then absolutely [you should adopt].

Before we go on, what’s with the blonde hair?

Is it different? (laughs) Really? OK, I’m doing a movie called Limited Partners about a friendship with me and Tiffany Haddish and we’re best friends. We have a fledgling business together and she’s kind of a super hip girl and I was like, ‘I need to look different in the mirror. I’m sick of how I look.’

How does it feel being a blonde?

It’s great. You know, the last time I did this was 20 years ago for “Two Hands,” yeah, so it was weird. A lot of my old Aussie friends are like, ‘ Oh my God! It’s a total flashback.’ It’s the movie I did with Heath 20 years ago so and I had bleached hair in that.

In the movie this couple become an instant family with three adopted kids which is of course instant chaos. You have two very little ones at home. How hectic is it?

Oh, man, it is what it is. I’m always thinking I’m going to be on top of everything and I never am. I’m always completely overwhelmed. I have no business telling anyone how to do parenting (laughs). I’m totally learning on the job. What’s great is the universal language you have with people, calling mum or my sisters or my best friend or people I work with, anyone, and I’ll ask, “How did you do this?’ That’s what’s really lovely about having a family is the instant kind of community you find.

How would you describe bringing up two baby boys?

Completely bonkers. You’re always like, ‘Don’t hit him! Put down that thing! It’s on fire! What’s happening?’ It’s completely chaotic and I’m not by any means a completely in control parent. I definitely am trying to put out fires all the time.

It’s a good thing your husband has a good sense of humour.

Oh, yeah, he’s great. He’s got a great sense of humour. He’s very funny. He’s always looking for the joke.

You and Mark Wahlberg play a couple who flip houses. Is that a talent you can relate to? Are you good at decorating a house?

I’d say Bobby’s better than me for sure (laughs). He’s great. He could easily flip a house but I find it hard to make decisions and I can change my mind. I definitely know what I like but it’s hard to sometimes articulate that but it was fun with this flipping house in the film because I got to watch a lot of those reality shows where they flip houses (laughs).

What’s Mark like as a co-star? He said you liked giving him a hard time

(laughs) I did hassle him about the gym, the gun show – he used to call his arms ‘the gun show’ (laughs). And he would be very patient with me and let me make fun of him which was just my way of getting to know him a little bit but he was great. He would let me laugh at my stupid jokes and let me poke fun. You know, I’m Australian so I’m not taking anything too seriously am I? (Laughs) I’m trying to make fun.

Will you be back in Sydney for Christmas?

I don’t think so. I’m hopefully going to be out there in the New Year, but not for Christmas. I think I’ll be here. We’ll be here in Brooklyn.


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