Lynskey at TIFF in 2009
|Born||Melanie Jayne Lynskey
16 May 1977
New Plymouth, New Zealand
|Spouse(s)||Jimmi Simpson (m. 2007; div. 2014)|
Melanie Jayne Lynskey (born 16 May 1977) is a New Zealand-born actress, known for playing Rose on Two and a Half Men, Michelle Pierson on Togetherness, as well as roles in the films Heavenly Creatures (1994), Up in the Air (2009), and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).
Lynskey was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, to a mother who is a former nurse and a father who is an orthopedic surgeon. She is the oldest of five children, and has three brothers and one sister.
In 1994, Lynskey made her feature film debut at age 16, starring as Pauline Parker in the cult film Heavenly Creatures, which was inspired by the Parker–Hulme murder case. The film was directed by Peter Jackson and co-starred Kate Winslet. Lynskey won Best Actress at the 1995 New Zealand Film and TV Awards for her performance.
In 1998, Lynskey appeared in the Drew Barrymore film Ever After, a re-imagining of the Cinderella story. This was followed by parts in Detroit Rock City, But I'm a Cheerleader, The Cherry Orchard, Shooters and Coyote Ugly, as well as the independent feature Snakeskin. Lynskey received her second nomination for Best Actress at the New Zealand Film and TV Awards for her performance in Snakeskin.
In 2002, Lynskey appeared in the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, co-starred with Katie Holmes in Abandon and made her television debut in Rose Red, a miniseries penned by Stephen King.
In 2003, Lynskey played a writer for The New Republic in Shattered Glass, a drama based on the exploits of former journalist Stephen Glass. Later that year, she landed the part of Rose – Charlie Harper's deranged but charming neighbor – on the CBS comedy series Two and a Half Men.
Despite leaving the main cast in 2005 to concentrate on film work, Lynskey continued to make guest appearances on the show, with a storyline where her character set her sights on Walden (Ashton Kutcher).
In 2006, she played the wife of Rene Gagnon in Clint Eastwood's World War II-set Flags of Our Fathers, and returned to New Zealand in late 2007 to a starring role in Show of Hands, which premiered at the 2008 Montreal Film Festival and earned Lynskey a nomination for Best Actress at the Qantas Television Awards.
In 2009, Lynskey garnered praise for her performance in Away We Go, directed by Sam Mendes, playing a seemingly happy adoptive parent who hides a secret heartache. She also played the female lead – opposite Matt Damon – in Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, based on the true story of FBI whistleblower Mark Whitacre. The film premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. 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 counts her time working on The Informant! as one of her favorite experiences.
Also in 2009, Lynskey co-starred in Leaves of Grass with Edward Norton, and Jason Reitman's Academy Award-nominated Up in the Air, in which she played the younger sister of George Clooney's character. In October 2009, Lynskey was presented with a Spotlight Award by the Hollywood Film Festival.
In 2011, she co-starred in Win Win with Paul Giamatti. The following year, Lynskey appeared in Focus Features' comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell, and had a key role in the film adaptation of Stephen Chbosky's novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, playing the mentally disturbed aunt of main character Charlie (Logan Lerman). The independent drama Hello I Must Be Going, in which she portrayed Amy, a dispirited 30-something who finds herself having to move back in with her parents, was particularly well-received by critics. The performance earned her a nomination for Breakthrough Actor at the 2012 Gotham Awards. Hello I Must Be Going was selected to open the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
In 2001, Lynskey met American actor Jimmi Simpson during the filming of Rose Red, in which they both appeared. They became engaged in 2005 and married on 14 April 2007, in a chapel on Lake Hayes, near Queenstown, New Zealand. Lynskey filed for divorce from Simpson on 25 September 2012, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized on 23 May 2014.
|1994||Heavenly Creatures||Pauline Parker|
|1996||Frighteners, TheThe Frighteners||Deputy|
|1998||Ever After||Jacqueline de Ghent|
|1999||Detroit Rock City||Beth Bumstein|
|1999||But I'm a Cheerleader||Hilary|
|1999||Cherry Orchard, TheThe Cherry Orchard||Dunyasha|
|1999||Measureless to Man||Short film|
|2002||Sweet Home Alabama||Lurlynn|
|2003||Shattered Glass||Amy Brand|
|2004||Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder, TheThe Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder||Zoe Cadwaulder||Short film|
|2006||Flags of Our Fathers||Pauline Harnois|
|2007||Itty Bitty Titty Committee||Plastic Surgery Lady||Uncredited|
|2008||Show of Hands||Jess|
|2008||Quiet Little Marriage, AA Quiet Little Marriage||Monique|
|2009||Away We Go||Munch Garnett|
|2009||Up in the Air||Julie Bingham|
|2009||Informant!, TheThe Informant!||Ginger Whitacre|
|2009||Leaves of Grass||Colleen|
|2010||Helena from the Wedding||Alice|
|2012||Hello I Must Be Going||Amy|
|2012||Eye of the Hurricane||Amelia Kyte|
|2012||Seeking a Friend for the End of the World||Karen Amalfi|
|2012||Perks of Being a Wallflower, TheThe Perks of Being a Wallflower||Aunt Helen|
|2013||Big Ask, TheThe Big Ask||Hannah|
|2014||They Came Together||Brenda|
|2014||Chu and Blossom||Miss Shoemaker|
|2014||We'll Never Have Paris||Devon|
|2014||Goodbye to All That||Annie|
|2015||Digging for Fire|
|2015||Life at These Speeds||Coach Rowan||In post-production|
|2016||Folk Hero & Funny Guy||Becky||Filming|
|2002||Rose Red||Rachel Wheaton||Miniseries; 3 episodes|
|2003||Shield, TheThe Shield||Marcy||2 episodes|
|2003–2015||Two and a Half Men||Rose||Recurring role (63 episodes)|
|2007||Drive||Wendy Partrakas||6 episodes|
|2008||Comanche Moon||Pearl Coleman||Miniseries; 3 episodes|
|2008||Psych||Emily Bloom||Episode: "Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion"|
|2008||L Word, TheThe L Word||Clea Mason||2 episodes|
|2009||It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia||Kate||Episode: "The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis"|
|2010||Memphis Beat||Annaliese Jones||Episode: "Polk Salad Annie"|
|2010–2012||Life & Times of Tim, TheThe Life & Times of Tim||Becky (voice)||Recurring role (6 episodes)|
|2012||House||Natalie Travers||Episode: "Better Half"|
|2014||Over the Garden Wall||Beatrice (voice)||Miniseries; 8 episodes|
|2014||Jake and the Never Land Pirates||Pearl (voice)||Episode: "The Arctic Pearl"|
|2015–present||Togetherness||Michelle Pierson||Main role|
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2015)|
|1995||New Zealand Film and TV Awards||Best Actress||Heavenly Creatures||Won|
|2001||Nokia New Zealand Film Awards||Best Actress||Snakeskin||Nominated|
|2009||Denver Film Critics Society||Best Acting Ensemble||Up in the Air||Nominated|
|2009||Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Ensemble||Up in the Air||Nominated|
|2009||New Zealand Film and TV Awards||Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film||Show of Hands||Nominated|
|2009||Hollywood Film Awards||Spotlight Award||Won|
|2011||CinEuphoria Awards||Best Supporting Actress – International||Away We Go||Won|
|2012||Gotham Awards||Breakthrough Award||Hello I Must Be Going||Nominated|
|2012||San Diego Film Critics Society||Best Ensemble Performance||The Perks of Being a Wallflower||Won|
|2014||RiverRun International Film Festival||Emerging Master||Won|
|2015||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Togetherness||Pending|
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