At 16 years of age, Melanie Lynskey captivated audiences with her astonishing debut in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994). Her portrayal of an outcast teen whose relationship with her best friend (Kate Winslet) spirals dangerously out of control was described as “perfect” by TIME magazine and earned Lynskey a New Zealand Film Award for Best Actress.
Following a three-year hiatus spent studying at university and re-locating to Los Angeles, Lynskey made a welcome return to the silver screen when she was cast opposite Drew Barrymore in Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998). Parts in Detroit Rock City (1999), But I’m a Cheerleader (1999), Coyote Ugly (2000), Snakeskin (2001), Abandon (2002), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Shattered Glass (2003), and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers (2006) came next.
In recent years, Lynskey has emerged as one of the industry’s most celebrated character actors, gaining plaudits for her performances in Sam Mendes’s Away We Go (2009), Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air (2009), Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! (2009), Win Win (2011), and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).
Prolific supporting roles – opposite the likes of George Clooney, Edward Norton and Matt Damon – aside, headline parts in Hello I Must Be Going (2012), Happy Christmas (2014), The Intervention (2016) – for which she received a Special Jury Award at Sundance – and I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore. (2017) have proved that she is also a dynamite leading lady.
On television, Lynskey has worked her scene-stealing magic in a variety of projects, such as the hugely popular Two and a Half Men (2003), where she appeared for twelve years as Rose; the acclaimed HBO dramedy Togetherness (2015), for which she earned a Critics’ Choice Award nomination; and the psychological horror series Castle Rock (2018).
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