Rose Byrne’s Latest Comic Creation? A Snarky Housewife Who Conquers the World of Aerobics

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Just as her life is about to fall apart, she discovers an aerobics studio in her local mall, and dancing to pop hits in high-cut leotards becomes her new addiction. In an attempt to raise funds for her husband’s campaign, she starts teaching classes, puts herself on videotape, and builds a business that will turn her into a fitness mogul. Despite all that, her demons continue to plague her.

Ahead of its Apple TV+ launch on June 18, Byrne spoke to Vogue about women’s empowerment, and her tragicomic upcoming film, and looking for Weisman on set, only to find her hiding in her car.

Vogue: Sheila Rubin is such a complicated character who skates between comedy and tragedy in a way that we rarely see on screen. Is that what made you want to play her?

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Rose Byrne: I read the pilot and I was so arrested by it. She’s the ultimate antihero and I was like, “How do you root for her?” She’s living in this terrible space of lies and they just get worse and worse. I was shooting Mrs. America in Toronto and Annie [Weisman, the show’s creator] came up to see me. I was a bit scared. I know what it takes to do a long-running series. I did Damages with Glenn Close. It’s a lot of hours and I hadn’t done that for years, but the world of this show was full of potential.

Did you start doing aerobics before filming began?

We had a fantastic choreographer, Jennifer Hamilton, and she and I started doing Zoom classes. I was in Byron Bay in Australia and she was in California. About two months in advance, we’d do a couple of hours twice a week. It’s addictive! I like to walk and do yoga, but I’ve never been a fanatic for a specific style like Tracy Anderson or The Class by Taryn Toomey. This delves into that world a bit. It’s interesting—people who were in California at the time, in the 1980s, refer to it like it was a cult. Like, [whispers] “There’s this thing! This exercise!” [Laughs.] It was fun to explore.

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The 1980s costumes, hair and makeup are incredible. What were your fittings like?

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