As a high schooler, Melanie Lynskey came to international attention in her first screen role, playing Pauline Parker in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-nominated feature film Heavenly Creatures.
Since then, the New Plymouth-born, Los Angeles-based actress has gone on to work with many of Hollywood’s biggest names, playing Drew Barrymore’s stepsister in Ever After, Matt Damon’s wife in The Informant, and George Clooney’s sister in Up in the Air. She has also had a scene-stealing guest role as Rose on the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Two and a Half Men.
Lynskey has returned to New Zealand to star in feature films Snakeskin and Show of Hands, and more recently landed a leading role in the Duplass brothers’ HBO series Togetherness.
In this ScreenTalk, Lynskey talks about:
- Being bitten by the acting bug at the age of six
- Missing the school assembly at which the Heavenly Creatures audition was announced
- Working with actor-director Miranda Harcourt to prepare for her second Heavenly Creatures audition
- The responsibility of playing a real-life murderer on screen
- How her off-screen friendship with Kate Winslet mirrored their on-screen relationship
- Why Snakeskin was the greatest acting experience of her life
- The secret behind how Craig Hall would prepare for his scenes in Show of Hands
- Why her experience on her younger sister’s short film, A Kiwi Legend, was better than most of her Hollywood acting jobs
- Why she turned down the chance to be “a millionaire” on Two and a Half Men
- What sets A-list actors apart from their acting peers
This video was first uploaded on 23 June 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.
Interview and Editing – Gemma Gracewood. Camera – Brett Stanley