‘Physical’ – Rose Byrne as a woman of the ’80s

Why Rose Byrne found aerobics liberating

Rose Byrne of ‘Physical’ on Apple TV+

Q: Appearing in that body-revealing suit every day had to be hard. Were you looking in the mirror 100 times or scared to eat breakfast?

A: They were less hard than the more intimate scenes where she’s having a lot of voiceovers and stuff like that. In a way, the aerobics aspect of it is so physical — not to make a pun — but it really is that it gets you out of your head because I’m so focused on trying to do the moves or the choreography and so on and so forth, it’s actually quite liberating, weirdly. I had never really done aerobics that much, so I can see why it is so addictive and empowering and all those sorts of things.

And I worked so closely with Kameron Lennox, our brilliant costume designer, and those leotards are just within an inch of their life. I mean I can’t even begin to tell you, it’s like a Marvel costume or something. The amount of fittings I had, an inch here, a pinch there, a lift here, I actually feel incredibly secure in them, which is fun.

Q: What did you think of the ’80s when you were doing this? Did you like the era? And then have you ever followed any kind of lifestyle guru?

A: I haven’t followed any lifestyle guru, to be honest. I’m Australian; I think we have healthy skepticism about anybody who’s telling us what to do. And my parents are very skeptical about anybody who’s trying to sell you any sort of plan or solution or cure. But saying that, the ’80s is fascinating to me. And I had just finished doing “Mrs. America” — or in the middle of doing it when Annie (Weisman, the series’ creator and showrunner) approached me.

And in a funny way, “Physical” felt like such a great companion piece because Sheila is a young woman but definitely has come up through the ’60s and ’70s so she’s sort of a child of that movement and yet she’s become quite disillusioned by it, I think under the surface. And this is really following sort of a feminist from that time and discovering her real source of empowerment … .

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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