Rose Byrne Credits Heath Ledger For Jumpstarting Her Career In Hollywood

"He was so instrumental in helping me get work."

Australians making it big in Hollywood doesn’t feel like anything new. With homegrown talent including Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, Rebel Wilson and Eric Bana carving out their careers in the city of dreams, it’s easy to forget that they most often struggled to get there. 

Rewind to the 1990s, and Australians breaking into the Hollywood scene was certainly not as commonplace as it is now. Just ask actress Rose Byrne, who, upon reflecting on that period in her life, recalled feeling like an ‘outsider.’ 

Speaking to The IndependentByrne said that there was a real mix of actors who got work and actors who didn’t. 

“Being Australian, you’re outsiders, aliens, so you’ve got to band together,” she mused, before going on to credit Australian legend Heath Ledger, for helping her jumpstart her career. 


“Heath was a real champion of that,” she told the outlet, referring to the decision to move from Australia to Los Angeles.

“He left early and started to get work here. He was so instrumental in helping me and a lot of people get work, and get into rooms…We were all in our late teens or early twenties, and there was such fervour to it all.”

Byrne and Ledger met in 1999 while starring in the Australian drama, Two Hands — they were 19 and 18 years old  respectively. 


Byrne is always quick to share her fondness of Ledger, continuing to keep his memory alive by re-sharing old photos and sharing new information about the late actor. 

Speaking to PEOPLE in 2017 she said: 

“He had a kinetic energy. He was nonstop. I adored spending time with him.” before adding that he was “a really seminal part of my life”.

Since those formative years in the late nineties, Byrne has gone on to star in some of the biggest blockbuster comedies of our generation, including Bridesmaids, Bad Neighbours and Get Him To The Greek. 

Despite her fame, she says in her heart, she still feels very Australian.

“To this day, I wake up and go: ‘Hold on, where am I? How did I get here?'” she told The Independent. 

It just goes to show how strong the Aussie spirit really is. 

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