TWO men are fighting over actress Rose Byrne and that hasn't happened to her since high school.
(picture deleted at request of News ltd)
"I usually go after men who don't like me," she said with a laugh.
Byrne is home from London to make an Australian film, The Tender Hook, directed by Jonathan Ogilvie.
Her face seems to be appearing everywhere at the moment. She is in the science-fiction film, Sunshine, now in cinemas, and has two more films – 28 Weeks Later and The Dead Girl – out next month.
In The Tender Hook, being shot in Melbourne, her character, Iris, is part of the love triangle at the heart of the 1920s film noir-style drama where Hugo Weaving plays a prominent Sydney businessman and Matt Le Nevez an up-and-coming young boxer. They are rivals for her affections.
Byrne researched women from Sydney's underworld, including famous madam Tilly Devine, before filming began.
Iris, she said, was a departure from the ingenue roles she usually played.
"She is ruthless and does questionable things and is definitely steely," Byrne said.
She said she considered the Australian scripts that came across her desk particularly carefully because of her interest in local writers and what they had to say about the Australian way of life.
After reading The Tender Hook, she watched several of Ogilvie's short films and was impressed by their beauty and their European sensibility.
Ogilvie has been thinking about this film for a decade.
He decided to make it after reading about Sydney standover man Chow Hayes in a book by David Hickie.
"Sydney in the 1920s and 1930s is a great canvas to work on," he said. Ogilvie has taken what he calls a "yester-now" approach to the film's style: set in the period, but with contemporary overtones.
Despite being set in Sydney, The Tender Hook is being shot in Melbourne and Sale because the Victorian Government provided part of the funding, unlike its NSW counterpart.
Byrne plans to go to New York at the end of May to work alongside Glenn Close in a 13-part legal drama, Damages.