A native of New Plymouth, New Zealand, actress Melanie Lynskey was born on May 16, 1977 and grew up the oldest five children. Ever since she was a young girl, Lynskey has been passionate about the art of acting, and once dreamed of becoming a successful stage actress. She landed her first acting job at the age of 15, and it was for the drama, Heavenly Creatures. The Oscar-nominated film had Lynskey sharing the big screen with British actress Kate Winslet, but it failed to propel Lynskey into stardom. She decided to try her luck in Los Angeles, but after three months, returned to New Zealand and devoted the next two years of her life studying English Literature at Victoria University. Lynskey went back to Los Angeles in 1997, and this time, gained more success, as she was cast in the indie film Foreign Correspondents, and eventually landed a role in the retelling Ever After: A Cinderella Story. From there, Lynskey continued to work on additional big screen projects, including Detroit Rock City, The Cherry Orchard and Coyote Ugly. Lynskey has also become a familiar face on American television, having appeared in series like Rose Red, Two and a Half Men and The Shield. She also appeared in the Fox television series, Drive. At present, she is part of the HBO series Togetherness.
New Plymouth, New Zealand
- She was educated at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
- She is a vegetarian.
- She used to have a production company called Velvet Morning Productions.
2009: Hollywood Film Festival - Spotlight Award
1995: New Zealand Film and TV Awards - Film Award - Best Actress for: Heavenly Creatures
2003-2014: Two and a Half Men (TV series) - Rose
2010: Memphis Beat (TV series) - Annaliese Jones
2010: The Life & Times of Tim (TV series)- Becky
2010: Helena from the Wedding - Alice
2009: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (TV series) - Kate
2009: Leaves of Grass - Colleen
2009: The Informant! - Ginger Whitacre
2009: Up in the Air - Julie Bingham
2009: Away We Go - Munch Garnett
2008: A Quiet Little Marriage - Monique
2008: Show of Hands - Jess
2008: The L Word (TV series) - Clea Mason
2008: Psych (TV series) - Emily Bloom
2008: Comanche Moon (TV mini-series) - Pearl Coleman
2007: Drive (TV series) - Wendy Patrakas
2007: Itty Bitty Titty Committee - Plastic Surgery Lady
2006: Flags of Our Fathers - Pauline Harnois
2006: Park - Sheryl
2005: Say Uncle - Susan
2004: The Nearly Unadventurous Life of Zoe Cadwaulder (short) - Zoe Cadwaulder
2003: Shattered Glass - Amy Brand
2003: Claustrophobia - Lauren
2003: The Shield (TV series) - Marcy
2002: Sweet Home Alabama - Lurlynn
2002: Abandon - Mousy Julie
2002: Rose Red (TV mini-series) - Rachel Wheaton/Rachel 'Sister' Wheaton
2002: Shooters - Marie
2001: Snakeskin - Alice
2000: Coyote Ugly - Gloria
1999: The Cherry Orchard - Dunyasha
1999: But I'm a Cheerleader - Hilary
1999: Detroit Rock City - Beth
1999: Foreign Correspondents - Melody
1999: Measureless to Man (short)
1998: EverAfter - Jacqueline
1996: The Frighteners - Deputy
1994: Heavenly Creatures - Pauline Parker
"You always see those movies that have amazing casts, and it's funny to be in one of them. It's a list of all these fantastic people--and, oh, me as well."
"The first audition I ever did, the casting director said, "I don't know why you're here. You're never going to work in America. You don't look right. You don't have the right kind of personality. I don't even know if you can do an American accent. Maybe you can try England." Other people were nice, but that's the first thing I ever heard when I came here. It made me more determined."