After starting her career with serious roles, actress Rose Byrne now wants to make you laugh
Rose Byrne thinks it's hard for people to place her.
"I'm Australian, people think I'm English, but I was on a TV show where I played an American, and then I'm in a comedy like Bridesmaids or Bad Neighbours," she once told the Los Angeles Times.
With her delicate beauty and a penchant for serious supporting roles, a critic once called her "Audrey Hepburn with a darker edge".
Byrne gained recognition and a slew of Golden Globe and Emmy nominations playing a young attorney in legal TV drama Damages.
But her comedy career started with 2010's Get Him To The Greek, followed by sleeper hits Bridesmaids (2011) and Bad Neighbours (2014) - a direction change that Byrne actively sought.
She told M: "I had really wanted to do some funnier things after Damages. So I started to audition and get into rooms for funnier stuff. I was really lucky that (director) Nick Stoller saw me for Get Him To The Greek.
"I think it was a reaction to having done far more serious things. I admire comedians so much and the actors that I love, they always find the humour in everything, and I think that's sort of maybe the Australian in me."
We are in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino's Diamond Lounge where Byrne, 35, received the Female Star Of The Year award from the National Association of Theatre Owners (Nato) at its annual convention CinemaCon.
She's also here to promote the comedy Spy, where she reunites with Melissa McCarthy after their previous go-round in Bridesmaids.
She is running late but sweetly apologises as she just got off the stage after charming the Nato audience with a clip from the movie, which is currently showing here.
Spy is about Susan Cooper (McCarthy), an unassuming, desk-bound CIA analyst who has to go undercover and infiltrate villain Rayna Boyanov's world when her partner Bradley Fine (Jude Law) falls off the grid.
In her role as Boyanov, the rich, spoiled daughter of a Bulgarian arms dealer, Byrne has sky-high hair (the 'do has to be seen to be believed), super-tight clothes and a faux British accent.
Byrne said: "I fought for that hair and that was not what they had in mind and so I really battled to get this look and it needed to look extreme."
Also starring in Spy is Byrne's actor-boyfriend Bobby Cannavale. The couple co-starred in last year's Annie and Adult Beginners.
Cannavale, 45, thanked Byrne, whom he called "the love of my life", in his acceptance speech when he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series for Boardwalk Empire in 2013.
Earlier this month, the couple, who have been dating for three years, attended the Met Gala in New York, where she is based.
She said: "The Whitney Museum Of American Art is opening soon near me, but I try to go to the galleries and I have a great group of friends there now and spring is here so we can walk around enjoying the sun.
"The city is just such an endlessly fun place to explore, so I do that a lot when I am not working."
But Australia remains special to her.
"I miss my family so much and the Australian sense of humour, and I miss the beach and Australian coffee. They are real connoisseurs in Australia. It is one of the highest consuming per capita of coffee in the world. And they take it very seriously. Very seriously."
Fans will see Byrne in the next X-Men movie X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, where she reprises her role as CIA agent and Charles Xavier's (James McAvoy) love interest, Moira MacTaggert.
"It's really a huge surprise since you don't know with these huge comic book films. I was really flattered that they wanted Moira to come back.
"She's a civilian after all so it's not always as dramatic when they are around, but to be able to work with James McAvoy again and (director) Bryan Singer, I am thrilled."