Melanie Lynskey

Melanie Lynskey

Birth name: Melanie Jayne Lynskey
Born: May 16, 1977
Age: 47
Birthplace: New Plymouth, New Zealand
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Melanie Jayne Lynskey (born 16 May 1977) is a New Zealand actress, known for playing Rose on Two and a Half Men, Michelle Pierson on Togetherness, as well as roles in the films Heavenly Creatures (1994), Up in the Air (2009), and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).


Early life

Lynskey was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, to a mother who is a former nurse and a father who is an orthopedic surgeon. She is the oldest of five children, and has three brothers and one sister. Her surname is Irish.

She studied theatre and English literature at Victoria University of Wellington.


In 1994, Lynskey made her feature film debut at age 16, starring as Pauline Parker in the cult film Heavenly Creatures, which was inspired by the Parker-Hulme murder case. The film was directed by Peter Jackson and co-starred Kate Winslet. Lynskey won Best Actress at the 1995 New Zealand Film and TV Awards for her performance.

In 1998, Lynskey appeared in the Drew Barrymore film Ever After, a re-imagining of the Cinderella story. This was followed by parts in Detroit Rock City, But I'm a Cheerleader, The Cherry Orchard, Shooters and Coyote Ugly, as well as the independent feature Snakeskin. Lynskey received her second nomination for Best Actress at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards for her performance in Snakeskin.

In 2002, Lynskey appeared in the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, co-starred with Katie Holmes in Abandon and made her television debut in Rose Red, a miniseries penned by Stephen King.

In 2003, Lynskey played a writer for The New Republic in Shattered Glass, a drama based on the exploits of former journalist Stephen Glass. Later that year, she landed the part of Rose - Charlie Harper's deranged but charming neighbour on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.

Despite leaving the main cast in 2005 to concentrate on film work, Lynskey continued to make guest appearances on the show, with a storyline where her character set her sights on Walden (Ashton Kutcher).

In 2006, she played the wife of Rene Gagnon in Clint Eastwood's World War II-set Flags of Our Fathers, and returned to New Zealand in late 2007 to a starring role in Show of Hands, which premiered at the 2008 Montreal Film Festival and earned Lynskey a nomination for Best Actress at the Qantas Television Awards.

In 2009, Lynskey garnered praise for her performance in Away We Go, directed by Sam Mendes, playing a seemingly happy adoptive parent who hides a secret heartache. She also played the female lead - opposite Matt Damon - in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, based on the true story of FBI whistleblower Mark Whitacre. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Soderbergh told the Los Angeles Times, "She is so watchable, you never quite know what you're going to get, you just know it's going to be good. Her rhythms are really unusual, like her cadence and her reaction times to things, and the way she sort of lays out a sentence. It's just really, really interesting." Lynskey counts her time working on The Informant! as one of her favorite experiences.

Also in 2009, Lynskey co-starred in Leaves of Grass with Edward Norton, and Jason Reitman's Academy Award-nominated Up in the Air, in which she played the younger sister of George Clooney's character. In October 2009, Lynskey was presented with a Spotlight Award by the Hollywood Film Festival.

In 2011, she co-starred in Win Win with Paul Giamatti. The following year, Lynskey appeared in Focus Features' comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell, and had a key role in the film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, playing the mentally disturbed aunt of main character Charlie (Logan Lerman). The independent drama Hello I Must Be Going, in which she portrayed Amy, a dispirited 30-something who finds herself having to move back in with her parents, was particularly well received by critics. The performance earned her a nomination for Breakthrough Actor at the 2012 Gotham Awards. Hello I Must Be Going was selected to open the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2014, Lynskey had starring roles in Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas, Angus MacLachlan's Goodbye to All That and Simon Helberg's We'll Never Have Paris.

In 2015, Lynskey co-stars as Michelle Pierson on the HBO comedy series Togetherness, a show created by Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis.

Acting style

Lynskey describes herself as a character actress.

Personal life

In 2001, Lynskey met American actor Jimmi Simpson during the filming of Rose Red, in which they both appeared. They became engaged in 2005 and married on 14 April 2007, in a chapel on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand. Lynskey filed for divorce from Simpson on 25 September 2012, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized on 23 May 2014.

She is best friends with But I'm a Cheerleader co-star Clea DuVall and resides in Los Angeles. She has misophonia.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Heavenly Creatures Pauline Parker
1996 Frighteners, TheThe Frighteners Deputy
1998 Ever After Jacqueline de Ghent
1999 Foreign Correspondents Melody
1999 Detroit Rock City Beth Bumstein
1999 But I'm a Cheerleader Hilary
1999 Cherry Orchard, TheThe Cherry Orchard Dunyasha
1999 Measureless to Man Short film
2000 Coyote Ugly Gloria
2001 Snakeskin Alice
2002 Shooters Marie
2002 Abandon Mousy Julie
2002 Sweet Home Alabama Lurlynn
2003 Claustrophobia Lauren
2003 Shattered Glass Amy Brand
2004 Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder, TheThe Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder Zoe Cadwaulder Short film
2005 Say Uncle Susan
2006 Park Sheryl
2006 Flags of Our Fathers Pauline Harnois
2007 Itty Bitty Titty Committee Plastic Surgery Lady Uncredited
2008 Show of Hands Jess
2008 Quiet Little Marriage, AA Quiet Little Marriage Monique
2009 Away We Go Munch Garnett
2009 Up in the Air Julie Bingham
2009 Informant!, TheThe Informant! Ginger Whitacre
2009 Leaves of Grass Colleen
2010 Helena from the Wedding Alice
2011 Win Win Cindy
2011 Touchback Macy
2012 Hello I Must Be Going Amy
2012 Eye of the Hurricane Amelia Kyte
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Karen Amalfi
2012 Perks of Being a Wallflower, TheThe Perks of Being a Wallflower Aunt Helen
2012 Putzel Sally
2013 Big Ask, TheThe Big Ask Hannah
2014 Happy Christmas Kelly
2014 They Came Together Brenda
2014 Chu and Blossom Miss Shoemaker
2014 We'll Never Have Paris Devon
2014 Goodbye to All That Annie
2015 Digging for Fire Squiggy
2016 The Intervention Annie
2016 Rainbow Time Lindsay
2016 Folk Hero & Funny Guy Becky
2016 The Great & The Small Margaret Post-production
2016 Little Boxes Gina Post-production
2016 Life at These Speeds Coach Rowan Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Rose Red Rachel Wheaton 3 episodes
2003 Shield, TheThe Shield Marcy 2 episodes
2003-2015 Two and a Half Men Rose 63 episodes
2007 Drive Wendy Partrakas 6 episodes
2008 Comanche Moon Pearl Coleman 3 episodes
2008 Psych Emily Bloom Episode: "Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion"
2008 L Word, TheThe L Word Clea Mason 2 episodes
2009 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Kate Episode: "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis"
2010 Memphis Beat Annaliese Jones Episode: "Polk Salad Annie"
2010-2012 Life & Times of Tim, TheThe Life & Times of Tim Becky (voice) 6 episodes
2012 House Natalie Travers Episode: "Better Half"
2014 Over the Garden Wall Beatrice (voice) 8 episodes
2014-2016 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Pearl (voice) 3 episodes
2015-2016 Togetherness Michelle Pierson 16 episodes
2015 Key & Peele Fiance Episode: "The Job Interview"
2016 Animals. Linda (voice) Episode: "Squirrels"

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result
1995 New Zealand Film and TV Awards Best Actress Heavenly Creatures Won
2001 Nokia New Zealand Film Awards Best Actress Snakeskin Nominated
2009 Denver Film Critics Society Best Acting Ensemble Up in the Air Nominated
2009 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Up in the Air Nominated
2009 New Zealand Film and TV Awards Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film Show of Hands Nominated
2009 Hollywood Film Awards Spotlight Award Won
2011 CinEuphoria Awards Best Supporting Actress - International Away We Go Won
2012 Gotham Awards Breakthrough Award Hello I Must Be Going Nominated
2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Best Ensemble Performance The Perks of Being a Wallflower Won
2014 RiverRun International Film Festival Emerging Master Won
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Togetherness Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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