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‘Spy’ Costar Rose Byrne Is a Comic Genius: 5 Clips That Prove It

Spy, the comedy that topped the box office this weekend, is an excellent showcase for star Melissa McCarthy. But the movie doesn’t succeed on McCarthy alone. One of Spy’s best performances comes from Rose Byrne, who plays a bratty Bulgarian arms dealer with both the sophistication of a Bond villain and the goofiness of a Saturday Night Live character. Byrne doesn’t seem to have gotten her due as a comedian, maybe because she’s often part of such talented ensembles. But she’s terrifically funny, bringing laughs and surprising complexity to characters ranging from Neighbors’ desperate new mother to Get Him to the Greek’s debaucherous pop star. Here are five clips from recent films that prove Byrne is a secret comedy powerhouse.
the comedy that topped the box office this weekend, is an excellent showcase for star Melissa McCarthy. But the movie doesn’t succeed on McCarthy alone. One of Spy’s best performances comes from Rose Byrne, who plays a bratty Bulgarian arms dealer with both the sophistication of a Bond villain and the goofiness of a Saturday Night Live character. Byrne doesn’t seem to have gotten her due as a comedian, maybe because she’s often part of such talented ensembles. But she’s terrifically funny, bringing laughs and surprising complexity to characters ranging from Neighbors’ desperate new mother to Get Him to the Greek’s debaucherous pop star. Here are five clips from recent films that prove Byrne is a secret comedy powerhouse.

Get Him to the Greek (2010)

Byrne’s breakout comedy role was Jackie Q, the vacuous pop-star girlfriend of Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) in Nicholas Stoller’s Get Him to the Greek. Many an actor has been steamrolled by Brand’s whirling-dervish energy, but Byrne holds her own, radiating the calm, oblivious indifference of a woman who loves herself above all things. And her line delivery is priceless; watch how she tells Brand she’s had “just a few drinks” in the clip above. One look at Byrne’s audition tape (watch it here) makes it clear why Stoller cast her: Her screen test is a hilarious tour de force of drunken rage, during which she slaps herself in the face and mimes having sex with a Buddha statue. Then she starts improvising with Brand (off-camera) and the character of Jackie Q emerges.

Author: Joe Ryder

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