Rose Byrne says her 'Neighbors' character is as 'irresponsible and irreverent' as the guys

The Australian actress says she finds comedy "incredibly challenging," but co-star Seth Rogen makes it look "effortless."
By Karen Butler  |  May 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM
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NEW YORK, May 9 (UPI) -- Australian actress Rose Byrne says she relished the chance to play a 30-something, first-time-mom, who is yearning for her former, hard-partying lifestyle when a college fraternity moves in next door, in the big-screen comedy, Neighbors.

The R-rated film follows Byrne's character Kelly and her husband Mac -- played by Seth Rogen -- as they try to recapture their lost youth when a bunch of guys in their teens and 20s move into the neighborhood. Initially sucked back into a careless life filled with music, drugs, friends and pranks, the couple quickly realize they no longer fit into that world and their infant daughter Stella needs to be their top priority. When they nicely ask their new neighbors to keep the noise down, then call the police when they don't, the couple find themselves at war with some fairly resourceful adversaries.

"We wanted to not make her the usual, stock, female character in the movie -- the nagging wife in the corner. We tried to make her as irresponsible and irreverent as the rest of the cast," the 34-year-old actress told UPI at a recent press conference in New York.

"It was a fun thing to explore and, hopefully, funny to watch," she said. "I haven't played a character as wild as this. I did a part in Get Him to the Greek as a pop star, and she was pretty outlandish, but this is a bigger role, really, and, in Bridesmaids, I played more of a straight man. I find comedy incredibly challenging. I think it's so difficult and underrated and people like Seth make it look effortless and, if you're next to someone like that, it really helps."

"It was tough going toe-to-toe with this incredible character. She was great. It was so much fun," Rogen, 32, told UPI with a laugh. "She was so funny and continues to be so funny and those scenes were so much fun to do. I feel like we were a good team in the movie and a good pairing, so it was fun."

The actor went on to say one of his favorite parts of the film shows Kelly behaving very badly in an effort to turn the frat brothers against one another and weaken their defenses.

"The scene where Rose seduces the teenagers, I always think is really funny. It probably gets the biggest audience reaction of any scene in the movie. I've seen it with like 20 or 30 different audiences and they unanimously go ape [expletive] when Rose walks away, having laid waste the children," he chuckled.

Co-starring Jerrod Carmichael, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Lisa Kudrow and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Neighbors is in theaters now.

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