Inside Bobby Cannavale And Rose Byrne’s Low-Key Relationship
Actor Bobby Cannavale, who was born and raised in New Jersey, decided from a young age that he didn’t want to be confined by formal acting training. Instead, he got his start by auditioning for small parts in movies like “Night Falls on Manhattan,” while working odd jobs to get by. He eventually nabbed his big break on “Third Watch” in 1999, and over the next 20 odd years, we would see the screen star turn his hand to just about anything.
Australian-born actor Rose Byrne, meanwhile, rose to fame starring alongside Heath Ledger in the 1999 comedy crime film, “Two Hands.” After a successful run of Australian movies, Byrne landed a leading role on FX series “Damages,” and has since become the leading lady in a host of films and television shows.
As a pair, Cannavale and Byrne have been blissfully loved up since they met in 2012, per Vulture, and they made their red carpet debut at the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York the following year. The couple have been together for almost a decade, as of this writing, but during that time, they’ve largely kept their relationship under wraps. The A-listers don’t have a typical Hollywood romance, though, so here’s everything we know about Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne’s low-key relationship.
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne don't need labels to define their relationship
Although these A-Listers have been building a life together since 2012, and now live together in Brooklyn with their two young children, sons Rocco (born in 2016) and Rafa (born in 2017), Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne are not legally married, as of this writing. The “Bridesmaids” actor, however, does sport the typical hardware seen on a married woman’s finger, as observed by their Vanity Fair interviewer.
In 2017, Byrne told Evening Standard that the “formality [of marriage] isn’t a draw” for her. However, this celeb pairing does call each other husband and wife. “He’s practically my husband, so calling him that is easier,” Byrne said. During an interview with Vulture, Cannavale and Byrne talked openly about their low-key “marriage” and explained that their decision to call each other husband and wife came about because they “hate all the other words.” “Boyfriend and girlfriend feels so young,” said Cannavale, who followed up by saying that “partner feels so sterile.” He also joked that the only word left for the couple is “lover,” to which Byrne replied sarcastically, “Sure. My lover, Bobby.”
Still, the “Damages” actor revealed to the Evening Standard that she and Cannavale will get married “one day,” because, “Once you have children, I just think, why not?”
This couple wants to keep as much of their anonymity as possible
In the aforementioned Vulture interview, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne admitted they find the public fascination with their personal lives strange. “It’s way more interesting for other people than it is for us,” Cannavale said. The pair do not revel, then, in being a couple in the public eye and prefer to keep their lives as low-key as possible. “We’re generally pretty private,” Byrne confessed to Vanity Fair.
Still, these actors have been gaining more and more global recognition for their work, which is making them “kind of universally beloved,” according to Byrne’s friend and former “Damages” co-star, Glenn Close. As Cannavale and Byrne’s fame continues to grow, maintaining their privacy may become more of a challenge.
However, the celeb pairing reaffirmed just how important their anonymity is to them during their Vulture interview. With Cannavale explaining that his preference would be to maintain his lower level of fame while continuing to land fulfilling acting gigs, he noted, “I actively don’t want to not be able to ride the subway.”
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne couldn't be more opposite
Despite their obvious lovebird status, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne couldn’t be more different, says Cannavale’s long-time friend and school pal Joe Lo Truglio. The “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor spoke to Vanity Fair about the couple, calling Cannavale “the high-strung rainstorm to Byrne’s relaxed cumulus cloud.”
The couple themselves have acknowledged the fact they’re very opposite — and it’s something which could stem from their culturally different upbringings. “We couldn’t be from more different parts of the world, you know?” Byrne said to InStyle. She also told Vulture that she is “a little bit more moment to moment” than Cannavale, who the outlet described as “the planner in the family.” However, Byrne believes that their differences are part of what makes their relationship work (via InStyle): “When something is special, it’s hard to articulate it, but I feel really lucky.” In fact, these two have more than proven that opposites attract, with Byrne explaining that their differences make them “a good yin and yang” (per Vulture).
Their relationship is a case of life imitating art, too, with Byrne often playing more relaxed and comedic characters in films like “Neighbors” and “Instant Family,” while Cannavale gravitates more toward grittier dramas like “Homecoming” and “The Irishman.”
The actors love collaborating and working together
Alongside a busy home-life raising two young children, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne have both maintained healthy acting careers. While they each have their own distinct styles and preferred genres, the couple also actively seeks opportunities for collaboration. Cannavale and Byrne shared the screen in films “Annie” and “Adult Beginners,” on the TV show “Angie Tribeca,” and on stage in “Medea” (shown above) In the Melissa McCarthy’s comedy, “Spy,” Byrne played Russian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov opposite Cannavale’s terrorist broker Sergio De Luca, and in Christopher Weekes short, “Martha the Monster,” the couple played “lovestruck beasts” (per Vanity Fair). Even when they aren’t co-starring alongside each other, you will often spot them popping up in the other’s projects. Cannavale has a one-episode appearance in the FX miniseries “Mrs. America,” in which Byrne stars in alongside Cate Blanchett, Uzo Aduba and Elizabeth Banks.
Cannavale told Vanity Fair that working together began “as a very pragmatic thing,” so the couple didn’t have to spend time away from each other or their kids. However, they continued to do more projects together because they “enjoy collaborating,” Byrne revealed to InStyle. After filming “Adult Beginners” in 2014, Cannavale told ScreenSlam that it’s a “no-brainer” to work with his wife and that it’s “always fun” because she “is constantly surprising” him. It’s clear that Cannavale and Byrne plan to continue life as a couple, co-parents, and co-workers; their latest joint venture, “Seriously Red,” is slated for a 2021 release.
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne rarely do any press together
To maintain their privacy, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne rarely do press or interviews together as a couple (or individually) which makes the actors “rare” and “enigmatic,” according to Vanity Fair. They usually prefer for their work to speak for itself, rather than be overshadowed by interviews where they are inevitably asked about their relationship (per Vulture).
Outside of press rounds to promote a project, Cannavale and Byrne have each only done a handful of interviews since the start of their careers, but the couple has started making exceptions for a few of their joint ventures. The pair spoke to Vanity Fair about “Medea,” the ancient Greek tragedy in which the couple played contemporary versions of Medea and Jason. The “Troy” actor said the “role [of Medea] is in the canon of the greatest roles for women ever written.” This play was also their first stage production together, and Byrne described working with her husband in the theater as “exciting, challenging, [and] terrifying.”
As one of the few interviews the couple has done together, it made a striking impression and exposed plenty of details about their relationship and family life, including how they were coping performing such a dark play. The couple even spoke about the decision to do interviews together, with Byrne explaining, “It’s not something we do all the time, but we’re trying to go with the flow.”
There are conflicting stories about how Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne met
Have we mentioned how private Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne keep their personal life? Then, it only makes sense that their couple origin story was something of a mystery, right? But that doesn’t mean the press hasn’t tried to procure the true story of their meet-cute, with predictably varied results.
According to InStyle Australia, the couple met on the set of “Annie” in 2012. This version of events seems totally credible at first glance and has been circulated by other publications, including Oprah Daily. However, production on the “Annie” remake didn’t actually begin until 2013, with Cannavale and Byrne joining the cast later that year. So it’s not possible for them to have met on the set in 2012.
Thankfully, their Vanity Fair interview confirmed how and when the couple actually met. While Byrne was starring in “Damages,” she was introduced to Cannavale “by a mutual friend.” The pair immediately hit it off and started dating in 2012, and the sparks were apparently pretty obvious. “The chemistry between them, it’s just so remarkable,” Byrne’s “Damages” co-star Glenn Close told Vanity Fair.
Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale use interior design to show off their personalities
There is no shortage of actors who also have a penchant for interior design. For example, Jessica Alba uses interior design to show off her passion for travel, while Cameron Diaz, who starred in “Annie” alongside Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne, had her Manhattan apartment featured in Elle Decor.
Cannavale and Byrne dove into the world of interior design when they gave their 19th century Brooklyn brownstone a complete gut renovation. With the help of Frederick Tang Architecture, the couple transformed two self-contained apartments into a single family home. While Cannavale and Byrne were keen to modernize the property, they also wanted it to maintain its “historic charm” (per Architectural Digest). According to Tang, the couple was an “integral part of collaborating in the design process” and the “project is a real expression of their personalities.”
The house is located in Boerum Hill on a street which is famous for homes “each painted a different color.” Tang explained that as the interior “palette” developed, “pinks and greens” became a prominent theme throughout and this became the inspiration of the house’s pink exterior. Inside, the house is “textured and rich in material detail but still light-filled and open,” Tang revealed. He also noted that, most importantly, “it reflects the playful, creative spirit of Bobby and Rose.”
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne think their sons are 'conspiring' against them
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne opened up on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” about the trials and tribulations of being the parents of two young boys. Cannavale shared that he and his wife “hear them talking about us in their room in the morning before we come in.” Cannavale laughed as he revealed Rocco and Rafa’s sneaky behavior, saying, “The 4-year-old helps the 2-year-old out of the sleep sack so he can climb out of the crib. He pulls him out.”
He added that he and Byrne can hear the boys crazily whispering “Dada” and “Mama” over and over again and that “it sounds like they’re upset about something.” Jokingly, the actor said he feels that the boys are “conspiring” against their parents. Byrne laughed slyly as Colbert joked the couple were “not at all” in control of the situation in the morning and admitted that the boys’ “energy is a lot.”
They travel as a family
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are famous for only working one at a time and always traveling together as a family — and it seems Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne have the same kind of idea. Since their first child was born in 2016, their family has spent “extended” periods of time all over the world, including in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Sydney (per Vanity Fair).
In 2019, the couple and their two children temporarily moved to Trinity-Bellwoods, which Cannavale dubbed “the Brooklyn of Toronto,” while Byrne was filming the FX miniseries “Mrs. America.” Cannavale also had a small part in the series. Traveling together is made easier because the couple lookout for opportunities to collaborate and work together as often as possible.
Outside of working, Cannavale and Byrne try to get in plenty of family travel time, too. They often pay homage to Byrne’s family with long trips to Australia, making sure to get plenty of time to unwind and relax on the beach (per Daily Mail).
Comedy is Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne second language
Rose Byrne told InStyle that she took herself too seriously as a “young, earnest” actor and that it wasn’t until her agent suggested she that she capitalize on her natural comedic abilities that she started bagging some of her best — and funniest — roles, including her parts in “Bridesmaids” and “Neighbors.” Bobby Cannavale has also found success in comedy, on television shows including “Will & Grace” and in the many funny films as well. The actor told Looper that his trick to creating comedy on screen or in live performances is subtlety, which means he has to “play the character honestly without trying to make them funny.”
The couple has also done plenty of on-screen comedy together, both in the independent film “Adult Beginners” as well as the award-winning movie “Spy.” In a previous interview with InStyle, Byrne joked that she and Cannavale are on the lookout for “two-handed comedies” to tackle together. They’re not just funny on the screen either, comedy is something the couple shares at home. Byrne says her husband has “got a great sense of humor” and is always “looking for the joke” (via Mindfood).
There's a huge pay gap between Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne
During their interview with Vanity Fair, Bobby Cannavale revealed that there is a huge pay gap between him and Rose Byrne. The actor proudly stated: “I make half as much as she does. Down the middle. Half.” According to the interview, the couple enjoys this so-called “script-flipping,” which is an apparent reference to the more commonplace situation in the industry wherein women are paid less than their co-stars. While Byrne and Cannavale are, of course, both huge stars in their own right, he suggested the gap in their incomes is because he “work[s] too much in the theater, perhaps.”
Cannavale’s throwaway comment attracted a lot of media attention, and when the couple later spoke to Vulture, the topic resurfaced. The “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” actor joked that in reality “it’s probably a wider gap.” He reiterated, “I do work in theater, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you’re working in theater, you’re not making as much as Dwayne Johnson.”
Cannavale’s commentary aside, it appears neither star is anywhere close to the poorhouse. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the “Bridesmaids” actor boasts an impressive net worth of $16 million, while her husband has amassed a cool $10 million.
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne have a 'dorky' side
Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne revealed their adorable dorky side on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” When the host asked them to share the dorkiest things that they do, the couple let out a collective sigh and Byrne revealed they “go to bed pretty early.” Their usual bedtime is “9:45 pm,” Cannavale admitted, adding that it’s sometimes as early as 9:30 pm. Greeted by laughter from Colbert, Byrne defended their early bedtime as she jokingly but repeatedly said, “It’s not a crime.”
However, Colbert wasn’t laughing when Cannavale said: “I got up at 4:45 this morning with the guys.” Thanks to their early bedtimes though, the actor insisted that he “got enough sleep.” Even though the “Boardwalk Empire” star shared that particular pre-dawn awakening was a bit out of the ordinary, it sounds like early nights and lively mornings are typical in the Cannavale-Byrne household.
The unusual nickname of Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne's youngest son
During the same interview with Stephen Colbert, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne revealed the unusual nickname they have for their youngest son, Rafa (who was named after tennis player Rafael Nadal). “We call the two-year-old Seal Team Six, ’cause he’s crazy, and he’s a killer,” Cannavale said. Colbert assumed it would be the older brother who “towers over” the younger brother, but the actor explained, “The first one, Rocco, he’s very sensitive. He’s always singing and dancing and the little one is just tough.”
To clarify Rafa’s nickname, Cannavale shared a story about a recent incident when their family was moving back to Brooklyn from Toronto. “We had this big moving box and Rocco got into it and he just wanted to play in the box so bad, and he wouldn’t let his brother in. He wouldn’t let the little guy in.” Rafa, the youngest, was desperate to play in the box and “grabbed [Rocco] by the hair and he pulled him down with the box, pulled him out by the hair, [and] crawled in.” The actor finished the story, saying Rafa just stood up in the box and “then you couldn’t see him, because he was just in there, but he was just laughing.”
Bobby Cannavale is helping Rose Byrne change the media industry
Rose Byrne has portrayed strong female characters throughout her career and has taken every opportunity to break down gender stereotypes — in “Neighbors,” she and Seth Rogen even “switched” some of their characters’ dialogue (via OffCamera with Sam Jones).
The actor refers to her husband as her “biggest champion” when it comes to supporting her roles, she told Vanity Fair. Bobby Cannavale is also actively helping his wife change the media industry through her company, The Dollhouse, which focuses on telling stories “about women, by women, for women” (per Evening Standard). Byrne founded the company with long-time Australian friends Gracie Otto, Krew Boylan, and Shannon Murphy, who hope their company can do something different for the media industry. “The only films that the studios are making are about robots and cars; it’s all ‘The Fate of the Furious.’ And the film industry is a broken system — most films fail,” Byrne told Evening Standard. “You can have a film packed with every A-lister under the sun, and it can still not work.”
Byrne and Boylan will star in the company’s first production, the musical comedy “Seriously Red,” with Cannavale taking a supporting role, Deadline confirmed.
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