Ronan at 2014 Berlin Film Festival
|Born||Saoirse Úna Ronan
12 April 1994
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Citizenship||Irish and American|
Saoirse Úna Ronan (/ /; born 12 April 1994) 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 nominations for the Academy Award, BAFTA and the Golden Globe Award.
Ronan has also acted in the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007), City of Ember (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 starred in the action thriller Hanna (2011).
Born in Woodlawn, New York, a neighbourhood of The Bronx, Ronan is the only child of Irish parents Paul and Monica Ronan – the former an English-born actor – who were living in New York at the time. Her family is Catholic. Ronan was raised in County Carlow, Ireland, having moved there when she was three years old, and is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland. She was home schooled while living in Carlow. As a baby, she sometimes accompanied her father on the set when he was working on such films as The Devil's Own and Veronica Guerin.
Ronan supports the Irish Blue Cross, as the charity had reunited her with her runaway dog Sassie. 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."
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. 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.
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. 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]." 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. Ronan herself received rave reviews for her performance, with Ty Burr of The Boston Globe calling her "remarkable [and] eccentric," 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.
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. 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."
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. Released to a mixed reception, the film was not a success at the box office, barely grossing US$8.3 million worldwide. 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, and grossed US$17 million worldwide, well below its US$55 million budget.
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 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." The Lovely Bones was released to mainly mixed reviews from critics, who criticised the film's story and its message. Critics praised the acting however, particularly Ronan's, whose performance Richard Corliss of Time described as "magic". 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.
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, the war drama film received generally positive reviews, with The Telegraph calling it "a journey that feels awful and heroic and unfathomable – and one you’ll want to watch again." Her performance in the film garnered Ronan her fourth IFTA Award.
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. 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. Driven by prominent dark fairy tale elements, Hanna earned generally positive reviews by critics, while Ronan garnered universal acclaim for her performance, winning her an PFCS Award and another IFTA Award. In his review for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers called Ronan an "acting sorceress." 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. In that same month, Ronan was announced as an ambassador for the ISPCC. Also in 2011, Ronan was cast in the title role for Hiromasa Yonebayashi's Arrietty's United Kingdom release. Later that year, she was in talks to play an elf in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit film series but eventually withdrew, citing schedule issues.
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. The film debuted in cinemas in March 2013 and generally panned by critics, who called it "poorly scripted and dramatically ineffective". Also in 2013, Ronan starred in director Neil Jordan's vampire film Byzantium, an adaptation of the play of the same name, and in Geoffrey S. Fletcher's directorial debut Violet & Daisy, where she again played a teen assassin.
Ronan's last film in 2013 was the film adaptation of the 2004 novel How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. 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.
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. Recently, Ronan has been cast as Leia in the psychological thriller Stockholm, Pennsylvania, directed by Nikole Beckwith. She joins Cynthia Nixon, Jason Isaacs and David Warshofsky.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saoirse Ronan.|
- Saoirse Ronan at the Internet Movie Database
- Saoirse Ronan at Yahoo! Movies
- Saoirse Ronan photos at Flickr
- Saoirse Ronan at Facebook