Family & Companions
Born and raised in New Plymouth, New Zealand, 16 year-old Melanie Lynskey was discovered when she was chosen by Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson to star in their film "Heavenly Creatures" (1994). Directed by Jackson, the film told the story of the notorious Parker-Hulme murder case, in which two teenage girls murdered the mother of one of them. Lynskey and Kate Winslet were roundly praised for their roles and Jackson and Walsh earned an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay. Lynskey won Best Actress for the role in her native New Zealand. Her first role behind her, Lynskey finished school and played a supporting role in Jackson's next film, "The Frighteners" (1996). She played both supporting roles in larger budget studio films like "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" (1998) starring Drew Barrymore, as well as meatier roles in independent features like "But I'm A Cheerleader" (1999). In 2003, Lynskey landed a regular guest starring role on the sitcom "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-2015), and continued to make appearances on the show over the course of its 12 seasons. The consistent work allowed Lynskey to continue her unusual career path, contributing critically acclaimed performances to smaller films like "Shattered Glass" (2003), "The Informant!" (2009), and "Win Win" (2011). In 2015, Lynskey debuted in one of the lead roles on "Togetherness" (HBO, 2015-16), again earning rave reviews. In 2018, Lynskey played one of the leads on the show "Castle Rock" (Hulu, 2018-), a series based on the stories of Stephen King.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Landed lead role in the film "Heavenly Creatures"
Re-teamed with Jackson to play a police deputy in "The Frighteners"
Played one of the stepsisters in "Ever After: A Cinderella Story," starring Drew Barrymore in the title role
Appeared in Adam Rifkin's cult film "Detroit Rock City"
Co-starred with Natasha Lyonne in "But I'm a Cheerleader"
Co-starred in an adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play "The Cherry Orchard" alongside Charlotte Rampling and Gerard Butler
Played supporting role in "Coyote Ugly" as Piper Perabo's best friend
Co-starred in the Stephen King miniseries "Red Rose" (ABC)
Played Reese Witherspoon's childhood friend in "Sweet Home Alabama"
Guest starred on "The Shield" (FX) as a neighborhood psychopath
First appeared on "Two and a Half Men"
Starred opposite Hayden Christensen in "Shattered Glass"
Landed substantial role in Clint Eastwood's World War II drama "Flags of Our Fathers"
Played the lead in the romantic film "Show of Hands"
Played title character's wife Ginger Whitacre opposite Matt Damon in "The Informant!"
Appeared in Sam Mendes' independent film "Away We Go"
Featured in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," starring George Clooney
Starred as a young divorcée who moves back in with her parents in romantic comedy "Hello I Must Be Going"
Cast opposite Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"
Played supporting role in feature adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," written and directed by the novel's author Stephen Chbosky
Appeared in "They Came Together"
Landed a role on the mini-series "Over the Garden Wall"
Joined the cast of HBO's "Togetherness"
Appeared in "The Great & The Small"
Played Lindsay in "Rainbow Time"
Played Ruth Kimke in "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore"
Starred in Stephen King's horror anthology series "Castle Rock"