“Damages” star and “Bridesmaids” queen bee Rose Byrne is in negotiations for two major movie projects – Warner Bros.’s “This is Where I Leave You” and Universal’s “Townies.” In the Shawn Levy-directed and Jonathan Tropper-written “This is Where I Leave You,” the Aussie actress joins an ensemble cast that currently includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver (HBO’s “Girls”), Kathryn Hahn, and Jane Fonda. The film and novel are about a relatively unobservant Jewish family sitting Sivah after the patriarch’s death and all of what that entails (confrontations, awkwardness, good ol’ family fun). Byrne is set to play the romantic lead as Bateman’s character’s former crush.
In the Nick Stoller-directed “Townies,” Byrne joins Seth Rogen and Zac Efron in a comedy about an ongoing confrontation between a townie and a frat boy, as you may have gathered from the title and casting. She will play Rogen’s character’s wife, acting as the comedic straight woman and voice of sanity in the film.
Fellow Australian beauty Bella Heathcote is adding comedy to her repertoire by joining the currently untitled rom-com starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei. The film appears to be “Music and Lyrics” meets “Larry Crowne” as Grant will play a washed-up screenwriter who accepts a teaching position at a small college and Tomei will be his romantic lead as a single mom who goes back to school at that very same college. Heathcote will play a student in one of Hugh Grant’s character’s classes.
From Michael Scott to a washed-up actor, Amy Ryan’s characters can certainly pick ‘em when it comes to love interests. Ryan is joining the Alejandro González Iñárritu-directed “Birdman” and an ensemble cast including Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, and Michael Keaton. “Birdman” is a comedy about an actor, most famous for an iconic superhero role, (played by Keaton in a slightly eerie casting choice) as he prepares for a comeback on Broadway. Ryan will play Keaton’s long-suffering wife. [THR/Variety/Deadline]