Lynskey in 2014
|Born||Melanie Jayne Lynskey
16 May 1977
New Plymouth, New Zealand
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Nationality||New Zealand; American|
|Spouse(s)||Jimmi Simpson (m. 2007–14)|
Melanie Jayne Lynskey (born 16 May 1977) is a New Zealand actress. She gained critical attention for her debut role as Pauline Parker in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994), followed by supporting roles in the films Ever After (1998) and Detroit Rock City (1999).
Beginning in 2003, she became known for playing Rose on Two and a Half Men, a role which she played until the series' finale in 2015. She also appeared on television as Michelle Pierson on Togetherness, and had roles in the films Up in the Air (2009), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), and I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017).
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. Her surname is Irish.
During her childhood, Lynskey's family relocated to England for one year before returning to New Zealand. She attended New Plymouth Girls' High School, where she was involved in the drama department and school plays. After high school, Lynskey studied at Victoria University of Wellington.
In 1994, Lynskey made her feature film debut at age 16, starring as Pauline Parker in 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 Television 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 alongside Reese Witherspoon in the 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 neighbour, on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.
Despite leaving the main cast in 2005 to concentrate on film work, Lynskey continued to make guest appearances on Two and a Half Men up until its final episode, which aired in February 2015.
In 2006, she played the wife of Rene Gagnon in Clint Eastwood's World War II-set Flags of Our Fathers. Next, she returned to New Zealand to star in Show of Hands, which earned Lynskey her third Best Actress nomination at the New Zealand Film and TV 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. 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 in Jason Reitman's Academy Award-nominated Up in the Air, where she played George Clooney's sister. In October 2009, Lynskey was presented with a Spotlight Award by the Hollywood Film Festival.
In 2011, she co-starred with Paul Giamatti in Win Win, earning strong reviews for her portrayal of a recovering drug addict. 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.
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 2014, Lynskey had starring roles in Happy Christmas, We'll Never Have Paris, and Goodbye to All That. She was also the voice of Beatrice, an ill-tempered bluebird, in the Emmy Award-winning animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall.
From 2015 to 2016, Lynskey played Michelle Pierson on the HBO series Togetherness, a show created, written and directed by brothers Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass. Lynskey was nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award for her performance.
Also in 2016, Lynskey earned a Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her portrayal of a high-strung alcoholic in comedy-drama The Intervention, and starred in the independent features Rainbow Time and Little Boxes.
Lynskey has been a vegetarian since age 10. 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. She is currently engaged to actor Jason Ritter.
|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|
|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 Javal|
|2012||Hello I Must Be Going||Amy Minsky|
|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||The 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||Squiggy|
|2016||Folk Hero & Funny Guy||Becky|
|2016||The Great & The Small||Margaret|
|2017||I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore||Ruth Kimke|
|2017||Life at These Speeds||Coach Rowan||In post-production|
|2002||Rose Red||Rachel "Sister" Wheaton||Miniseries|
|2003||Shield, TheThe Shield||Marcy||2 episodes|
|2003–15||Two and a Half Men||Rose||63 episodes|
|2007||Drive||Wendy Partrakas||6 episodes|
|2008||Comanche Moon||Pearl Coleman||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"|
|2010–12||Life & Times of Tim, TheThe Life & Times of Tim||Becky (voice)||6 episodes|
|2012||House||Natalie Travers||Episode: "Better Half"|
|2014||Over the Garden Wall||Beatrice (voice)||8 episodes|
|2014–16||Jake and the Never Land Pirates||Pearl (voice)||3 episodes|
|2015–16||Togetherness||Michelle Pierson||16 episodes|
|2015||Key & Peele||Fiance||Episode: "The Job Interview"|
|2016||Animals.||Linda (voice)||Episode: "Squirrels"|
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|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|
|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||Nominated|
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