Rose Byrne gets Physical for the third and final season of the Apple TV+ series

The Aussie actress plays an aerobics-loving housewife in Physical.
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Nobody plays a girl boss quite like Rose Byrne – her 2020 film Like a Boss is a hoot and a half.

WATCH BELOW: Physical trailer

So it seems like a natural fit to see the Aussie actress transported back to the ’80s to play a down-on-her-luck housewife-turned-Jane Fonda-esque fitness mogul in Apple TV+’s dark comedy series, Physical.

Rose Byrne
Viewers get a whole lot of lycra and a killer ’80s soundtrack while watching the series. (Credit: Apple TV Plus)

What is Physical about?

The dark comedy follows Sheila Rubin, a San Diego mum-of-one with an abrasive inner monologue, a good-for-nothing husband, and a disorder about her self-image.

But one day, Sheila follows a cool-looking woman into an aerobics class and soon she falls in love with the workout style, eventually starting her own business by videotaping and teaching classes.

Rose Byrne
“Those leotards are within an inch of their life,” Byrne says of her costumes on the show. “It’s like a Marvel costume or something, the amount of fittings I’ve had.” (Credit: Apple TV Plus)

Why play Sheila?

The role was a no-brainer for 44-year-old Byrne, who fell in love with the character from the moment she read about her.

“When I read the first script, I was so moved,” the star told Shape magazine when the show was first announced.

“It felt like a story I hadn’t seen before, and it’s incredibly human and relatable. For me as an artist, it was very challenging and daunting, which is good. I especially loved how doing all the physical [routines] take you out of being so self-conscious as a performer.”

Rose Byrne
The actress says she was drawn to the script because of the main character. (Credit: Apple TV Plus)

Preparing for the role

Although Byrne has always had an amazing body, she had to step up her game when it came to preparing for the role. Her aerobic scenes required some pretty intense training and coordination, which started well before filming began, with the actress working with choreographer Jennifer Hamilton via Zoom.

“We did online classes, building the choreography,” Byrne told Shape. “This show is a journey for Sheila, the character I play, so the routines have to look rough in the beginning, and then she slowly gains her confidence and strength.”

Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale
Byrne and husband Bobby Cannavale have been together since 2012. (Credit: Instagram)

With two children – Byrne shares sons Rocco, 7, and Rafa, 5, with partner Bobby Cannavale, 53 – exercise had fallen by the wayside during the pandemic. But the actress says she enjoyed getting back into the swing of things while preparing for the show.

“I hadn’t been doing a lot of cardio personally, so that was very hard,” she admitted. “But it was fun. I really loved the training. I can see how it becomes addictive.”

WATCH BELOW: Rose Byrne reveals what she’s sick of being asked by fans. Post continues after video…

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Through the decades

In 2020, Byrne played feminist icon Gloria Steinem in the miniseries Mrs America about the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment. So moving from the ’70s to the ’80s with Physical felt like a natural progression for the star.

“It was a beautiful companion piece,” she says of the two shows. “Playing Gloria was an eye-opening experience in many ways. Then to be able to step into Sheila – it felt like picking up where the previous era left off. It linked all those ideals that so many people were fighting for.”

Rose Byrne
The actress loved playing Sheila in Physical (Credit: Apple TV Plus)

Where to watch Physical in Australia

All seasons of Physical – one through three – are available to watch on Apple TV+ in Australia, so sign up here to start streaming now.

The dark comedy series returns for its third and final season on August 2, on Apple TV+.

Stream Physical now on Apple TV+ with a 7 day free trial. Subscribe here.

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