PARK CITY, Utah â€” Melanie Lynskey has playing wacky down cold. Sheâ€™s done it for years on â€œTwo and a Half Menâ€ as Rose, the off-kilter neighbor. And she shines in dramatic parts, as when she played Matt Damonâ€™s wife in â€œThe Informant!â€
Itâ€™s a question that Ms. Melanie Lynskey has thought about a lot in her 15 years of pounding the Hollywood pavement, and the answer usually boils down to this: Those parts are written for men. Or Meryl Streep. Typecasting in the mainstream movie mines is also brutal.
Melanie Lynskey character smokes pot, vomits, sobs, laughs, has sex, romps naked poolside (not in that order) and aggressively fights with her mother, played by Blythe Danner. In something like karmic payback for all of those unflattering roles she was offered, Ms. Melanie Lynskeyâ€™s character attracts the obsessive romantic attention of a 19-year-old hunk (Christopher Abbott).
â€œThe lesson is be careful what you wish for, because itâ€™s a lot of pressure,â€ Ms. Melanie Lynskey said, smiling and lowering her eyes in the bashful way she tends to do.
â€œI just knew there was no way Iâ€™d end up with this, and when it went silent, I assumed they were off giving it to Michelle Williams or Maggie Gyllenhaal,â€ Melanie Lynskey said.
Not so, said Mr. Louiso, whose film â€œLove Lizaâ€ was nominated for a grand jury prize at Sundance in 2002. â€œI knew if I cast her, the film had the potential to resonate on a thousand different levels,â€ he said. After the reading, â€œthere was no one else.â€
The immediate reaction to â€œHello I Must Be Goingâ€ was lukewarm, but Ms. Melanie Lynskey was treated kindly (The Salt Lake Tribune said she brought â€œpoignancy and dead-on comedic skillsâ€ to the part). In a way, the reaction wonâ€™t really matter: Ms. Melanie Lynskey has already won.
â€œIâ€™m a character actress, and Iâ€™m very grateful for all that Iâ€™ve gotten to do,â€ she told the 1,000 or so people packed into the Eccles Theater here after the lights came up. â€œBut this was just something that was so fully realized, a complete journey that this person makes. It felt like such a gift.â€ Melanie Lynskey’s Star Shines at Sundance