May 30, 2020
For the Bridesmaids star, playing Gloria Steinem in her 1970s battle for women’s rights has been a reminder that the same arguments are raging today
Rose Byrne: ‘You understand why feminists are furious – we’re still talking about this?’
A few days before New York locked down and Broadway closed indefinitely, Rose Byrne was on stage in Brooklyn, doing Medea. It was a sold-out run, co-starring her husband, Bobby Cannavale, in an updated version of the Euripides classic. Already, in that first week of March, people were starting to not show up, and those who did were in an odd mood. “There was something subdued about the audience,” says Byrne. “I mean, it’s Medea – and not Tyler Perry’s version – so it’s not full of laughs.” Still, she says, “the last week was strange. You could feel a tension.” The show closed on 8 March, one of the few in the city to finish its run. Four days later, the theatres went dark.
Since then, the 40-year-old Actor, along with Cannavale and their two kids, both under five, have been in their home in Brooklyn. Byrne peers into the camera from a dimly lit room in her house, hair tied up in a wrap that conceals what she says is the crash in personal grooming. There is, in these times, nothing so endearing to other New Yorkers as the New Yorker of means who, at the first sign of the pandemic, didn’t clear off to their house in the country. “We’ve taken some weekend trips here and there,” says Byrne, “but otherwise we’re holding tight and waiting to see… ” She trails off. The inertia of lockdown descends.
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