Saoirse Ronan

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Saoirse Ronan
SaoirseRonanSept11TIFF.jpg
Born Saoirse Úna Ronan
(1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 20)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Residence Howth, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Citizenship Irish and American
Occupation Actress
Years active 2003–present
Height 1.68m

Saoirse Úna Ronan (/ˈsɪərʃə ˈnæ ˈrnən/; born 12 April 1994)[1][2] is an Irish actress. She came to international prominence in 2007 after co-starring as Briony Tallis in the film Atonement with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, from which she received nominations for a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award, making her one of the youngest actresses to receive an Oscar nomination.

Her film breakthrough was followed by her starring role in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (2009) where she was awarded a Critics' Choice Award, a Saturn Award, and a second BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress.

She has acted in romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007), the supernatural film Death Defying Acts (2008), the action thriller Hanna (2011), How I Live Now (2013) and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). She also starred in the romantic science fiction thriller film The Host (2013).

Personal life[edit]

Born in Woodlawn, New York, a neighbourhood of The Bronx,[3][4] Ronan is the only child of Irish parents Paul and Monica Ronan – the former an English-born 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, Úna, means 'unity' in Ireland. And I think my last name means 'seal.' So I’m a free, unified seal."[13]

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.[14] In May 2012, Ronan helped launch photographer Barry McCall's exhibition and book, 'Pho20graphy', to support an Irish children's charity, ISPCC.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18] She auditioned for and won the part of Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old aspiring 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]."[18] 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.[19] Ronan herself received rave reviews for her performance, with Ty Burr of The Boston Globe calling her "remarkable [and] eccentric",[20] and was subsequently nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, ranking her among the ten youngest to be nominated for the latter.[21]

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

Ronan's next film was Amy Heckerling's often-delayed romantic comedy 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.[22] 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".[23]

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.[24] Released to a mixed reception,[25] the film was not a success at the box office, barely grossing US$8.3 million worldwide.[26] 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,[27] and grossed US$17 million worldwide, well below its US$55 million budget.[28]

In 2009, Ronan starred alongside Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (2009), an adaptation of the book of the same name by Alice Sebold, in which 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".[29] The Lovely Bones was released to mainly mixed reviews from critics,[30] who criticised the film's story and its message.[31] Critics praised the acting however, particularly Ronan's, whose performance Richard Corliss of Time described as "magic".[31] 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.[32]

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,[33] the war drama film received generally positive reviews,[34] with The Telegraph calling it "a journey that feels awful and heroic and unfathomable – and one you’ll want to watch again".[35] Her performance in the film garnered Ronan her fourth IFTA Award.[36]

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 Arctic wilderness to be the perfect assassin.[37] 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.[38] Driven by prominent dark fairy tale elements,[39] Hanna earned generally positive reviews by critics,[40] while Ronan garnered universal acclaim for her performance, winning her an PFCS Award[41] and another IFTA Award.[42] In his review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called Ronan an "acting sorceress."[43] 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.[44] In that same month, Ronan was announced as an ambassador for the ISPCC.[45] Also in 2011, Ronan was cast in the title role for Hiromasa Yonebayashi's Arrietty's United Kingdom release.[46] Later that year, she was in talks to play an elf in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film series but eventually withdrew,[47] citing schedule issues.[48][49]

Ronan's 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.[50] The film debuted in cinemas in March 2013 and generally panned by critics, who called it "poorly scripted and dramatically ineffective".[51] Also in 2013, Ronan starred in director Neil Jordan's vampire film Byzantium, an adaptation of the play of the same name,[52] and in Geoffrey S. Fletcher's directorial debut Violet & Daisy, where she again played a teen assassin.[53]

Ronan's last film in 2013 was the film adaptation of the 2004 novel How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff.[54] In the film, she plays a 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. Directed by Kevin Macdonald, it was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[55]

On 2 December 2013, Ronan announced the winner of the Turner Prize in Derry~Londonderry as part of the UK City of Culture 2013, and presented the prize to Laure Prouvost.

Ronan appeared in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, which co-starred Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Jude Law and Owen Wilson; and in Lost River, the directorial debut of Ryan Gosling.[56] In April 2014, Ronan has been cast as Leia in the psychological thriller Stockholm, Pennsylvania directed by Nikole Beckwith.[57][58]

Filmography[edit]

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2003–04 Clinic, TheThe Clinic Rhiannon Geraghty 4 episodes
2005 Proof Orla Kelly 4 episodes
2007 Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, TheThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Celia Hardwick
2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman Izzie Mensforth
2007 Atonement Briony Tallis, age 13 Won – Irish 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
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actress
Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2008 Death Defying Acts Benji McGarvie Won – Irish Film & Television Award for Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Young Actor
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Supporting Actress
2008 City of Ember Lina Mayfleet Nominated – Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role
2009 Lovely Bones, TheThe Lovely Bones Susie Salmon Won – Broadcast 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
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Santa Barbara International Film Virtuoso Award
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2010 Way Back, TheThe Way Back Irena Won – Irish Film & Television Award for Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
2010 Arrietty Arrietty Voice only; UK version
2011 Hanna Hanna Won – Irish 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
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
London Critics Circle Film Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress
2011 Violet and Daisy Daisy
2012 Byzantium Eleanor Webb Irish Film & Television Award for Best Actress in a Lead Role
Nominated -- Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Leading Actress
2013 Host, TheThe Host Melanie Stryder /
Wanderer "Wanda"
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress - Sci-Fi/Fantasy
2013 How I Live Now Daisy Won -- London Critics Circle Film Awards for Young British Performer of the Year
Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
2013 Justin and the Knights of Valour Talia Voice only
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Agatha
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Herself Cameo
2014 Lost River Rat Post-Production
2015 Brooklyn Eilis Lacey Filming

References[edit]

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  53. ^ Kroll, Justin; McNary, Dave (13 September 2010). "Killer Gigs For Ronan, Gandolfini". Variety. Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 
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  57. ^ Fleming, Mike. "Saoirse Ronan & Cynthia Nixon In 'Stockholm, Pennsylvania': New Actresses Cast". Deadline.com. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
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