Rose Byrne on "Neighbors" sequel, gender issues in Hollywood

Actress Rose Byrne's breakout role in the TV drama series "Damages" earned her Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. But she's since proven to be a comical genius, starring in blockbuster hits like "Bridesmaids," "Get Him to the Greek," "The Internship" and "Spy."

Now, Byrne is back in the sequel to 2014's hit comedy, "Neighbors," which grossed over $270 million in ticket sales worldwide.

"It was a big hit. We were all delighted, obviously... I think the characters - people really kind of took a shining to them so we thought, let's try and do it again," Byrne told "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.

In "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising," Byrne and co-star Seth Rogen reprise their roles as Mac and Kelly Radner, a husband and wife expecting their second child. The couple deals with the complications of raising their young family with a rowdy sorority living next door, all in the midst of trying to sell their home.

In one scene the actress describes as the most difficult to get through, Byrne gets up close and personal with Zac Efron. Byrne helps grease up her shirtless co-star by rubbing a slab of grilled meat on his washboard abs during a college tailgate party.

"There was this piece of meat that was really seasoned in like thyme and rosemary, and they injected it with baby oil... so it was really disgusting. It took me a few hours to try to get that off my hands," Byrne said, laughing. "It's really for young kids, but you know, it's funny. We haven't done our job if you haven't left the cinema laughing."

But Byrne did not let the film's humorous nature get in the way of addressing a more serious issue - breaking gender stereotypes. She ensured from the very beginning that her character would be just as "irresponsible" and "stupid" as her on-screen husband.

"Unfortunately, sometimes in these comedies, traditionally the wife is the buzz kill... and so I was just not interested in doing that, and so we had sat down with the director early on for the first film," Byrne said, to "reverse the stereotype" of the "nagging wife."

Byrne has also pursued this cause off screen. Often finding a greater interest in playing "the guy role" when reading movie scripts, Byrne said she decided to take matters into her own hands by creating a production company to produce more "female-driven projects."

Over the past year, the issue of Hollywood's pay gap has surfaced time and again, with more top stars - like Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Patricia Arquette and recently, Robin Wright - demanding pay equal to their male co-stars.

Byrne said that she, too, brings up the issue "as much as I can."

"It's great that it's actually coming to light and people are talking about it, because I think these things just are buried for so long and has acquired sort of tolerance for this behavior and treatment of women and it just shouldn't be the case obviously," Byrne said.