Saoirse Ronan

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Saoirse Ronan
SaoirseRonanSept11TIFF.jpg
BornSaoirse Una Ronan[1]
(1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 19)[2]
The Bronx, New York, United States[3][4]
OccupationActress
Years active2003–present
 
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Saoirse Ronan
SaoirseRonanSept11TIFF.jpg
BornSaoirse Una Ronan[1]
(1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 19)[2]
The Bronx, New York, United States[3][4]
OccupationActress
Years active2003–present

Saoirse Una Ronan (/ˈsɜrʃə ˈnæ ˈrnən/; born 12 April 1994)[1] is an Irish actress. She came to international prominence in 2007 after co-starring in the film Atonement with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley; making her one of the youngest actresses ever to receive Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

Ronan has since acted in the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007), the film adaptation of the science fantasy Young Adult novel The City of Ember (2008), the supernatural romance Death Defying Acts (2008), the war drama film The Way Back (2010) and the action thriller Hanna (2011). She was awarded a Critics' Choice Award and a Saturn Award and received a second BAFTA Award nomination for her performance in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (2009). She most recently starred in the science fiction romantic film The Host, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer.

Personal life[edit]

Born in the Woodlawn neighborhood of The Bronx, New York City, Ronan is the only child of Irish parents Paul and Monica Ronan – the former an actor[5] – who were living in New York at the time.[6] Her family is Catholic.[7] Ronan was raised in County Carlow, Ireland, having moved there when she was three years old,[8] and is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland.[3] She was home schooled while living in Carlow.[9][10] As a baby, she sometimes accompanied her father on the set when he was working on such films as The Devil's Own[11] and Veronica Guerin.

Ronan supports the Irish Blue Cross, as the charity had reunited her with her runaway dog Sassie.[12] On her name, she said, "'Seer-sha' is how Irish people pronounce my first name, but I would pronounce it 'Sir-sha,' like 'inertia'. It's Irish for 'freedom.' I recently found out that my middle name, Una, means 'unity' in Ireland. And I think my last name means 'seal.' So I’m a free, unified seal."[1]

In 2012, Ronan worked for free on a campaign video encouraging Irish food and drink manufacturers to become more sustainable. Ronan currently resides in Howth, a suburb of Dublin.[13]

Career[edit]

2003–2009[edit]

Saoirse Ronan made her screen debut on Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ, in the 2003 primetime medical drama The Clinic and then appeared in the mini-serial Proof.[14] During the same time, Ronan auditioned to play Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a role she eventually lost out to Evanna Lynch.[15]

At the age of twelve, Ronan was asked to attend a casting call for Joe Wright's 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan's 2001 novel Atonement.[16] She auditioned for and won the part of Briony Tallis, an aspiring 13-year-old novelist, who irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Starring alongside Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, Wright grew more and more impressed with Ronan on-set, who declared her role a "fantastic part [to play]."[16] Budgeted at US$30 million, the film became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of US$130 million and various awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film, Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, and an 2008 Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.[17] Ronan herself received rave reviews for her performance, with Ty Burr of The Boston Globe calling her "remarkable [and] eccentric,"[18] and was subsequently nominated for a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, ranking her among the youngest persons ever to be nominated for the latter.[19]

Ronan at the premiere of City of Ember in Belfast in 2008

Ronan's next film was Amy Heckerling's often-delayed romantic comedy film I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007). Initially shot in mid-to fall 2005 in Los Angeles and London, the film went straight-to-DVD in the United States and other major market territories after it had struggled to attract financing and several deals disintegrated during its post-production in spite of its budget of US$25 million.[20] In the film, Ronan portrayed the character of Izzie Grossman, the pubescent daughter of a television show screenwriter, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, who falls for a younger man (Paul Rudd), while Izzie falls in love for the first time herself. Upon its release, the independent project garnered generally lukewarm reviews, with Joe Leydon of Variety summing it as "a desperately unfunny mix of tepid showbiz satire and formulaic romantic comedy."[21]

In 2008, Ronan starred in both Death Defying Acts and City of Ember. In Gillian Armstrong's supernatural romantic thriller Death Defying Acts, she played Benji McGarvie, the daughter of an impoverished and uneducated psychic, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, who begins a passionate affair with magician Harry Houdini at the height of his career. Ronan was awarded an Irish Film & Television Award for her performance.[22] Released to a mixed reception,[23] the film was not a success at the box office, barely grossing US$8.3 million worldwide.[24] In Gil Kenan's City of Ember Ronan starred as Lina Mayfleet, a teenager who must save the people of the fictional underground city named Ember. The fantasy film, based on the 2003 novel by Jeanne DuPrau, received mixed reviews from critics,[25] and grossed US$17 million worldwide, well below its US$55 million budget.[26]

In 2009, Ronan appeared alongside Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (2009), an adaptation of the same-titled book by Alice Sebold. In the film, Ronan plays 14-year-old Susie Salmon, who, after being murdered, watches from the "in-between" as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death. Ronan and her family were originally hesitant for Ronan to accept her role in the film because of its subject matter, but agreed after meeting with Jackson, who described her as "just amazing on-screen."[27] The Lovely Bones was released to mainly mixed reviews from critics,[28] who criticised the film's story and its message.[29] Critics praised the acting however, particularly Ronan's, whose performance Richard Corliss of Time described as "magic".[29] The film garnered various accolades, winning Ronan a Critics' Choice Award and a Saturn Award as well as a second BAFTA Award nomination the following year.[30]

2010–present[edit]

In 2010's The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir, Ronan played the character of Irena, a Polish orphan, who joins a group of prisoners who escape from the gulag in Siberia in 1940 and attempt to make a 4,000 mile trek to India. Shot on location in Bulgaria, India and Morocco alongside Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell and Ed Harris,[31] the war drama film received generally positive reviews,[32] with The Telegraph calling it "a journey that feels awful and heroic and unfathomable – and one you’ll want to watch again."[33] Her performance in the film garnered Ronan her fourth IFTA Award.[34]

Ronan at the TIFF 2012 premiere of Byzantium.

In 2011, Ronan starred as the title character in the action thriller Hanna about a 15-year-old girl who has been brought up in the Artic wilderness to be the perfect assassin.[35] Co-starring Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, the film marked her reunion with Atonement director Joe Wright, who was consulted after Ronan prompted the producers to consider him.[36] Driven by prominent dark fairy tale elements,[37] Hanna earned generally positive reviews by critics,[38] while Ronan garnered universal acclaim for her performance, winning her an PFCS Award[39] and another IFTA Award.[40] In his review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called Ronan an "acting sorceress."[41] In November 2011, Ronan took part in a promotion for the Irish Film Institute Archive Preservation Fund, in which she was digitally edited into popular Irish films of the past, as well as documentary footage.[42] In that same month, Ronan was announced as an ambassador for the ISPCC.[43] Also in 2011, Ronan was cast as Arrietty for Hiromasa Yonebayashi's same-titled animated fantasy film's United Kingdom release.[44]

Later that year, Ronan was in talks to play an Elf in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film series but eventually withdrew,[45] citing schedule issues.[46][47] Her next film was Andrew Niccol's film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel The Host in which she plays the dual main characters of Wanderer and Melanie Stryder, a human rebel who was captured and implanted with a parasitic alien soul.[48] The film debuted in cinemas in March 2013 and generally panned by critics, who called it "poorly scripted and dramatically ineffective".[49] Also in 2013, Ronan starred in director Neil Jordan's vampire film Byzantium, an adaptation of the play of the same name,[50] and in Geoffrey S. Fletcher's directorial debut Violet & Daisy, where she again played a teen assassin.[51]

Ronan's last film in 2013 was the film adaptation of the 2004 novel How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.[52] In the film, she plays a neurotic but strong-willed New York City teenager who is sent to stay with cousins on a remote farm in the United Kingdom during the outbreak of a fictional third world war of the 21st century. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[53]

In 2014, Ronan is expected to appear in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will co-star Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Jude Law and Owen Wilson, and Ryan Gosling's directorial debut How to Catch a Monster.[54]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
2003–2004Clinic, TheThe ClinicRhiannon GeraghtyTV series; four episodes
2005ProofOrla KellyTV series; four episodes
2007Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, TheThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyCelia Hardwick
I Could Never Be Your WomanIzzie Mensforth
AtonementBriony Tallis, age 13Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Youth in Film
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actress
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Nominated – London Film Critics Circle Award for British Breakthrough – Acting
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2008Death Defying ActsBenji McGarvieIrish Film & Television Award for Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actress
City of EmberLina MayfleetNominated – Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role
2009Lovely Bones, TheThe Lovely BonesSusie SalmonBroadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actress
Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Youth in Film – Female
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Nominated – Santa Barbara International Film Virtuoso Award
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2010Way Back, TheThe Way BackIrenaIrish Film & Television Award for Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
2011HannaHannaIrish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role
Alliance of Women Film Journalists – Kick Ass Award for Best Female Action Star
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actress
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated – Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
ArriettyArriettyVoice only; UK version
2013Host, TheThe HostMelanie Stryder /
Wanderer (Wanda)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Sci-fi Fantasy Actress
Nominated – Disney Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role[citation needed]
ByzantiumEleanor Webb
Violet & DaisyDaisy
How I Live NowDaisyNominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
Justin and the Knights of ValourTaliaVoice only
2014The Grand Budapest HotelAgathaPost-production
How to Catch a MonsterRatPost-production
2015Mary Queen of ScotsMaryFilms in the spring
BrooklynEllis LaceyFilms in the spring

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Symkus, Ed (7 April 2011). "Saoirse Ronan gets physical as action heroine 'Hanna'". GateHouse News Service (The MetroWest Daily News). Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Debruge, Peter (4 October 2007). "Saoirse Ronan Atonement actress creating Lovely buzz". Variety. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Jocelyn (28 March 2011). "[Exclusive Interview] Saoirse Ronan Talks Hanna (part 1)". Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Perry, Samantha (27 January 2008). "Oscar-nominated actress has family ties to Mercer County". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Paul Ronan at IMDB
  6. ^ Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV – Oscar-nominated actress has family ties to Mercer County
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  8. ^ McGoldrick, Debbie (4 November 2009). "Saoirse Ronan is leading contender for Best Actress Oscar". IrishCentral.com. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
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  12. ^ Saoirse Ronan champions Irish Blue Cross. RTÉ.
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  49. ^ "The Host (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  50. ^ Kemp, Stuart (14 May 2011). "Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton to Star in Vampire Pic Byzantium (Cannes)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
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  53. ^ "How I Live Now". TIFF. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
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