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Melanie Jayne Lynskey (born 16 May 1977) is a New Zealand actress best known for playing Charlie Harper's neighbor/stalker Rose on Two and a Half Men, and a range of characters in films such as Up in the Air, The Informant!, Away We Go, Flags of Our Fathers, Shattered Glass, Sweet Home Alabama, Ever After and Heavenly Creatures.
In 1992, at the age of 15, Lynskey won her first professional acting role as Pauline Parker in the Peter Jackson film Heavenly Creatures, based on the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder, opposite Kate Winslet. Over 500 young actors auditioned for the role before Lynskey was cast with Jackson recalling "we knew if we cast an intelligent person, then they were going to hit it. Melanie's also very enigmatic. So what we were looking for was an actress who has that kind of aspect to her...where you can film somebody sitting in a room, doing nothing, and they're still fascinating to watch. We found that in Mel." The film was released to critical acclaim in 1994 with Richard Corliss of TIME magazine describing her performance as "perfect, fearless in embodying teenage hysteria". Heavenly Creatures won Jackson and partner Fran Walsh a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and is now considered a cult film. Lynskey was named Best Actress at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards in 1995 for her performance. After release of the film, Lynskey completed high school and began studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in English Literature. She made an appearance as a police deputy in Jackson's next film, The Frighteners. Her first appearance in American film was as Jacqueline de Ghent in Ever After opposite Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston, which was quickly followed by roles in Detroit Rock City, But I'm a Cheerleader, The Cherry Orchard (an adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play) and the Jerry Bruckheimer produced Coyote Ugly where she took on a New Jersey accent. In 2002 she played her first television role in the Stephen King mini series Rose Red. She then appeared alongside Katie Holmes in Abandon and Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama, and guest starred twice on The Shield.
In Shattered Glass, a 2003 drama revolving around political journalism, she played a writer for The New Republic. Based on a true story, the film depicted the downfall of fraudulent Washington, D.C. journalist Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) and received extremely positive reviews, with A. O. Scott of the New York Times referring to it as "a serious, well-observed examination of the practice of journalism", and "an astute and surprisingly gripping drama". Also in 2003, she landed the part of Rose, Charlie Sheen's sweet and zany neighbor on the Emmy Award-winning Two and a Half Men, which frequently appears in the top 10 of the most-watched television shows in America. Although she left her regular slot on the show in 2007, she still makes occasional guest appearances when her schedule allows. In 2006 she had a small but substantial role in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated World War II drama Flags of Our Fathers and returned to New Zealand in late 2007 to a starring role in Show of Hands, which premiered at the Montreal Film Festival in 2008 and earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the Qantas Television Awards. More recently, she earned rave reviews for her performance in the Sam Mendes comedy-drama Away We Go, playing a seemingly happy adoptive parent who hides a secret heartache. Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe wrote "Lynskey dramatizes sadness and dysfunction with quiet, moving physicality... It's the best performance in the movie". She also played the female lead opposite Matt Damon in the Steven Soderbergh black comedy The Informant!, based on the true story of FBI whistleblower Mark Whitacre. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival with The Independent noting "sterling support comes from Melanie Lynskey as Whitacre's ever-loyal wife". 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's 2009 films also include Leaves of Grass, in which she co-starred with Edward Norton and Susan Sarandon, as well as Up in the Air, in which she played Julie Bingham, the younger sister of George Clooney's character. Lynskey is set to star in the 2011 films Win Win opposite Paul Giamatti, Touchback opposite Kurt Russell, and Eye of the Hurricane opposite Campbell Scott.
In 2001 she met her future husband, American actor Jimmi Simpson, while co-starring in the Stephen King mini series Rose Red, and they became engaged in 2005. On 14 April 2007 they married in a chapel overlooking a vineyard on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand. Also in attendance was her best friend and Rose Red co-star Emily Deschanel, who was one of her bridesmaids. Lynskey currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband.Credit to wikipedia for the biography.
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