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Rose Byrne talks about playing 'fascinating' Jacinda Ardern in Christchurch mosque attack film

Rose Byrne has opened up about how “excited” she is to play Jacinda Ardern in the recently announced film surrounding the March 15 attacks. 

Speaking while promoting her recent film, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, the Australian actress called Ardern a “fascinating character”.

“Yes, yes, so I’m attached to this film to play Jacinda Ardern,” Byrne said. 

“It focuses on the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand. So yes, she’s such a fascinating character. So I’m really excited about that.”

Written and directed by Kiwi filmmaker Andrew Niccol, the film titled ‘They Are Us’ is set in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks which killed 51 people. 

He told Hollywood news outlet Deadline the film was to focus on Jacinda Ardern’s response to the attack, and how people rallied behind her messages of unity. 

“The film addresses our common humanity, which is why I think it’ll speak to people around the world,” Niccol said. 

“It’s an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.” 

Meanwhile, the film has drawn criticism locally for not focusing on the victims of the attacks.

It’s sparked a petition calling for the film to be canned, accusing the project of whitewashing.   

Since the petition launched yesterday,  it’s gathered more than 17,000 signatures online.