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Why Leatherhead From TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Sounds So Familiar

There's a pretty strong chance Leatherhead from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" sounds familiar. 

After the financial misfire that was 2016's live-action "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows," the iconic franchise remained dormant on the big screen... until now. To breath life into the property, Paramount Pictures recruited Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the irreverent minds behind "Superbad" and Point Grey Pictures, to co-write an animated take on "TMNT." As fans of the franchise, Rogen and Goldberg sought out to create a unique take on the iconic turtles that they, and millions of others, grew up with. "It's a teenage movie, we're putting a lot of our own feelings—of awkwardness and insecurity and a desire to belong and be accepted and all that—into the movie," Rogen told The AV Club in 2022. 

A year later, Rogen and Goldberg's "TMNT: Mutant Mayhem" has emerged as a critical darling, winning the hearts of both hardcore and casual fans alike. In an enthusiastic review for Looper, critic Reuben Baron praised the Paramount flick's animation style, action sequences, humor, and colorful cast of characters. The film is an absolute knockout that does justice to the "TMNT" mythos and considerable praise should be given to both Rogen and Goldberg. 

In "Mutant Mayhem," fans of the franchise will find a slew of familiar characters, including iconic villains populated by actors they know and love. Seeing as Rogen and Goldberg are Hollywood superstars, they've roped in a number of their equally famous friends to voice the film's nefarious villains. At the heart of the film is Superfly (voiced by Ice Cube), who recruits a number of key "TMNT" villains, including Leatherhead. Those who have seen "Mutant Mayhem" have more than likely heard (and seen) Rose Byrne, the voice actor behind Leatherhead in other projects. 

Rose Byrne plays Padmé's handmaiden in Attack of the Clones

Rose Byrne stands out as one of the most celebrated and recognizable actresses in recent memory. While she has a slew of iconic roles under her belt, many might not know that the Australian native's first major Hollywood role was in "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones." Byrne appears briefly as the handmaiden to Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) in the George Lucas-directed sci-fi epic. Byrne's role was minimal in nature but she was excited to be a part of the world's most iconic franchise. While speaking with Jimmy Kimmel in 2022, Byrne reflected on her early apperance in the "Star Wars" flick. "Well, it was amazing, it was shot in Australia, it was many years ago," Byrne said, before pointing out how serious her character looked in the film. "It was... wild. I was Natalie's handmaiden, it was amazing." 

While Byrne doesn't have much to do in the film, it's an early role that she certainly can't forget, especially after finding out that she starred in a prequel. During her chat with Kimmel, Byrne casually revealed that she's not a huge "Star Wars" fan and was unaware that "Attack of the Clones" was a prequel to the original batch of "Star Wars" flicks. 

In a separate interview with Uproxx, Byrne revealed that she got the "Star Wars" gig in a casual way. "I think they just had to, it was shot in Sydney, so they had to get a bunch of Australians in the cast," Byrne said. "I think that's why I got the part. 'We better hire that girl!' I'm like one of the point zero one percent who is not a 'Star Wars' fan," she added. Byrne may not be a "Star Wars" fan, but it's just one of the high-grossing franchises she's appeared in.  

The Leatherhead star is an Insidious staple

Following her small contribution to the "Star Wars" franchise, Rose Byrne managed to get a slew of roles stateside, working with directors like Wolfgang Peterson and Sofia Coppola in projects like "Troy" and "Marie Antoinette," respectively. The Australian star quickly became a name to watch out for but it wasn't until her foray into horror that Byrne started to become recognizable. In 2011, director James Wan unleashed "Insidious" upon the world, highlighting how spooky, demonic happenings could plague even the most picture-perfect family. In the horror flick, Byrne plays a mother trying to figure out why her son (Ty Simpkins) has found himself entangled with demons. 

Like most of Wan's horror outings, "Insidious" emerged as a financial success, with Byrne and the rest cast being roped in for subsequent sequels. To date, the franchise has grossed over $700 million and shows no signs of stopping. Byrne has appeared in two out of four "Insidious" sequels. While speaking with Collider in 2023, Byrne reflected on the "Insidious" franchise's legacy, discussing how the original film was made a shoe-string budget. "I get little tidbits now and again about how it's, particularly the first one, how it's become more of a cult hit than I knew," Byrne shared. "Oh my God, we did that film in 22 days for $8.50..." 

Byrne most recently appeared in "Insidious: The Red Door," a decision she made because of her appreciation for fans of the franchise. "It had this built-in audience for now over a decade [...] And when you have such a fan base, it's awesome to revisit all of those characters again," Byrne said. With both "Insidious" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" under her belt, it's safe to say that Byrne knows a thing or two about franchises. 

The TMNT star played a key role in X-Men: First Class

2011 proved to be a major year for Rose Byrne, who was continuing her ascent over Hollywood. Alongside demonic possessions, the Australian star wound up dealing with superhero shenanigans that year. Byrne found herself joining 20th Century Fox's storied "X-Men" franchise with the prequel/reboot "First Class." Directed by Matthew Vaughn, "First Class" is widely credited for revitalizing the iconic superhero franchise after it stumbled with "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and the equally maligned "The Last Stand." In the reboot, Byrne plays CIA agent Moira MacTaggert. As a supporting player in the flick, MacTaggert ends up being a vital figure who helps influence the creation of the X-Men team. 

It's an important role, one that allowed audiences to see Byrne in an empathetic but badass position, allowing her to operate in the world of cerebral action. "I think she's kind of the audience's eyes in that sense of discovering this whole new world and she's like the audience — she's not a mutant, but she's a pioneer. She believes that mutants can help and that [mutants and humans] can co-exist, and we can live in this harmonious society," Byrne told Clevver Movies about MacTaggert.

At the end of "First Class," MacTaggert has her memories wiped away, but that doesn't mean her relationship with X-Men ended in 2011. Byrne returned as the character in the 2016 film "X-Men: Apocalypse" in a brief role. With "X-Men," the future "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" star dipped her toes into the world of comic books and superheroes. Of course, Byrne has expanded her on-screen roles considerably since her "X-Men" debut. 

Rose Byrne is a comedic icon thanks to Bridesmaids and Spy

If there's one thing Rose Byrne is known for, it's her ability to leave audiences in stitches. In 2011, Byrne won the hearts of millions around the world thanks to her performance as the uptight trophy wife Helen Harris in Paul Feig's "Bridesmaids." The comedy managed to nab 2 Oscar nominations, making it one of the year's most successful flicks. For Byrne, it was her third home run in 2011 and arguably her most recognizable role to date. 

While speaking with People, Byrne expressed how she's more than often recognized for "Bridesmaids" than anything else. "But if there's a young girl or a woman between the ages of about 25 and 45, 50, I know it's going to be a Bridesmaids reference," the star admitted. It's a truly memorable role, but not the only beloved comedy under her belt. Take a look at her CV post "Bridesmaids" and it's not difficult to see how the star found a niche for herself.

After "Bridesmaids" came roles in Shawn Levy's "The Internship" and "This Is Where I Leave You," as well as the Jamie Foxx-starring "Annie" remake. There were also headlining appearances in comedy-dramas like "Adult Beginners" and "I Give It a Year," which showed the "TMNT" star's range as a comedic actress. Perhaps her most notable post-"Bridesmaids" role is playing the nefarious Rayna Boyanov in "Spy." The action-comedy saw Byrne appear as a villain hellbent on destroying the world. "Spy" saw Byrne reuniting with her "Bridesmaids" co-star Melissa McCarthy, a reunion she thoroughly enjoyed. "[Mellisa's] brilliant. She's a hard worker and there's no one funnier or smarter. She's just so great to collaborate with," Byrne told Showbiz Junkies in 2015. Here's hoping the two continue to collab in the future. 

The TMNT star collaborated with Seth Rogen on Neighbors

When it comes to the holy trinity of Rose Byrne comedies, it's "Bridesmaids," "Spy," and Point Grey Pictures' "Neighbors." In 2014, just a year before "Spy" hit cinemas, Byrne joined forces with Seth Rogen to deliver "Neighbors," a comedy about two parents who are at odds with a fraternity who have moved in next door. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and produced by future "TMNT: Mutant Mayhem" scribes Rogen and Goldberg, "Neighbors" proved to be a commercial and critical success. The flick, which pairs Byrne opposite Rogen, notably saw the Australian star utilize her native accent. 

What particularly makes "Neighbors" memorable is that it's Byrne's first collaboration with Rogen. While speaking with The New York Times, Byrne revealed that she first met Rogen on the set of "Bridesmaids." Despite not knowing each other well, the two immediately jived, which made playing a couple in "Neighbors" a breeze. "Straight off we had a good, easy rapport and a matching temperament," Byrne said. "That couple's really got to come off as authentic and self-assured, and I feel like we had that." Rogen agreed with Byrne's sentiments, saying that working with her was "easy" and like "having a partner." 

It's no surprise that after their dynamite chemistry and fruitful experience, the two returned for 2016's "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising." While the sequel wasn't as financially lucrative as the first, it proved that Byrne and Rogen were a comedic pairing worth investing time in. The duo's friendship no doubt led to Byrne being brought on board as the voice of Leatherhead in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem." Byrne isn't the only "Neighbors" alum who stars in "Mutant Mayhem," as the animated flick also features the voice talents of Hannibal Buress, who plays a cop in the flick. 

Rose Byrne plays two characters in Peter Rabbit

After enjoying her time with raunchy comedies and demented haunted houses, Rose Byrne decided to tackle an adaptation of Peter Rabbit, an iconic children's character. Byrne joined Domhnall Gleeson for the live-action "Peter Rabbit" flick, where she plays Bea, a woman who tends and cares for several talking rabbits in her neighborhood. Byrne's Bea is loosely based on Beatrix Potter, who created the Peter Rabbit character. In a chat with Movies.IE, Byrne opened up about the pressure that came with taking on the role. "... The legacy of Beatrix Potter is phenomenal [...] so it's a huge pressure to be this inspired version of her," Byrne said. 

In the film, Peter Rabbit (voiced by James Corden) try his best to get along with Gleeson's Thomas, an uptight man who has just moved into the area. For "Peter Rabbit," Byrne shed away her Australian accent and adopted a British voice, surprising audiences with a switch-up in more ways than one. How? Byrne also voices one of the rabbits, Jemima Puddle-Duck, a character the actress described as "maniacal" in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel

For Byrne, it was interesting to take on the role of the live-action Bea, as it forced her to work with CGI extensively, something the future Leatherhead star wasn't super in tune with. "The CGI stuff can be tedious definitely, so you have to keep a sense of humour, otherwise that can be pretty boring," Byrne told The Independent. Byrne continued by discussing how she had to act alongside a "stuffed ball" for the key scenes involving the rabbits, describing the situation as "pretty funny." The big screen take on "Peter Rabbit" proved to be a hit and a sequel manifested in 2021, titled "The Runaway." 

The Leatherhead star voices Mother in I Am Mother

Rose Byrne continues to diversify her talents as a thespian. In 2019, the actress voiced the titular character in the Netflix sci-fi flick "I Am Mother." Released to critical acclaim, "I Am Mother" follows Daughter (Clara Rugaard), a young girl who is raised by a robot by the name of Mother (Byrne) in a post-apocalyptic bunker. /Film critic Ben Pearson absolutely adored the film, praising it for its visual effects, performances, and themes, ultimately labeling it "a new sci-fi classic." While the film is filled with standout performances, Byrne received considerable praise for voicing the robotic but warm-hearted Mother, a character that will go down as one of her more iconic roles. 

While speaking with LRM Online, "I Am Mother" director Grant Sputore opened up about why Byrne was the perfect star to voice the robot. "We wanted somebody that had a voice that would soothing, but also sounded like a deep wisdom behind it," Sputore said, describing Byrne as a positive force. "She's affable. She's friendly. She's lovely. She's super, super smart. That's all we wanted with Mother." 

In a conversation with SYFY, Daughter actor Clara Rugaard revealed that she didn't work with Byrne during film, saying, "I didn't actually get to work with her until I saw the finished product with her voice added on top of it all, which just brought so many more elements to the finished product." Playing Mother after voicing Jemima Puddle-Duck in "Peter Rabbit" must have given Byrne some confidence in the voice acting department. To date, Byrne's voice acting output has mostly been minimal — she's guest starred on "American Dad!" and "Bluey," but she'll now be seen headlining "Mutant Mayhem" as the iconic "TMNT" villain Leatherhead. 

Rose Byrne reunited with her TMNT co-star Seth Rogen for Platonic

Rose Byrne has worked with Seth Rogen not once but twice in 2023. Besides joining Rogen for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles: Mutant Mayhem" as Leatherhead, Byrne can be seen starring alongside the comedian in Apple TV+'s critically-acclaimed "Platonic." Looper critic Cynthia Vinney awarded the comedy show's debut season a 9/10, praising the series for its knock-out performances and the infectious chemistry between its leads. Vinney was particularly enthusiastic about Byrne's performance in the series, saying the star "has never been so good as a middle-aged mother with her own issues to work out." 

The series follows Sylvia (Byrne) and Will (Rogen), two friends who reconnect in their middle age. There's no romantic sparks — their friendship is strictly platonic and the two genuinely adore one another as just friends. It's a premise that makes sense, especially because Rogen and Byrne have been friends for years. While speaking with Screen Rant, Byrne opened up about how her working relationship with Rogen has evolved since "Neighors" and its sequel. "I didn't want to do the show if we didn't have Seth," Byrne candidly revealed. "This show lives and dies on the chemistry of the friendship. It really does, and [we knew] we had that," the "TMNT" star continued. 

Now, Byrne can be heard alongside Rogen in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." As their friendship and working relationship continues, one can only imagine what the two will do next. While "Platonic" hasn't received the Season 2 green light as of yet, fans of Byrne can watch the star wrap up her other Apple TV+ show: "Physical," which kickstarted its final season on August 3.