`Gone Baby Gone' co-star arrives in Hollywood

February 4, 2008 1:18:59 PM PST
Amy Ryan jokes that friends won't let her baby-sit any more, that society will never let her have kids of her own.

That's what happens when you do your job as well as Ryan did in "Gone Baby Gone," in which she plays the mother of all neglectful mothers - boozy, promiscuous, corrosively foul-mouthed and out either doing drugs or transporting them when she should be home with her darling 4-year-old daughter.

The role has vaulted Ryan from acclaimed stage performer and TV regular to movie star, earning her an Academy Award nomination as supporting actress among her many film honors this season.

Ryan dominated "Gone Baby Gone," Ben Affleck's directing debut. Coming out on DVD Feb. 12, the movie features Ryan as Helene, a low-class mom who displays shocking callousness and duplicity amid a media circus over the abduction of her daughter.

Along with the Oscar honor, the role earned Ryan supporting-actress nominations for the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, plus prizes from many key critics groups.

Ryan grew up in Queens and attended New York's High School of the Performing Arts. She began working in theater, TV and film, landing recurring parts on such TV shows as "The Wire" and "I'll Fly Away."

Her big-screen career has surged since last fall, when she followed "Gone Baby Gone" with roles in Steve Carell's "Dan in Real Life" and Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead."

Ryan, who is in her late 30s but declined to give her precise age.