Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Mam ran in and all I could hear was, 'We're going to the Oscars!'' - Saoirse Ronan reveals how she heard the news

Published 15/01/2016 | 07:59

Saoirse Ronan at last Sunday's Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles.
Saoirse Ronan at last Sunday's Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles.

Saoirse Ronan has revealed how she heard the exciting news that she had been nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Brooklyn.

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Speaking to RTE Ten on Thursday night, following the nominations announcement, she said she had just moved in to her new apartment in New York.

"It was my first night in this apartment and I was still kind of getting used to the New York traffic so I had my ear plugs in my ears and I actually had the best night's sleep I've had in days because I as a bit jet-lagged," she said.

Saoirse had returned to New York from a stint doing press for Brooklyn in LA.

Saoirse Ronan in ‘Brooklyn’. Photo: AP
Saoirse Ronan in ‘Brooklyn’. Photo: AP

"I was finally getting to sleep, I was in a really deep sleep which was weird considering what was going on today, and about 8 o'clock, half eight, mam ran in and all I could hear was, 'We're going to the Oscars, we're going to the Oscars!'

"It was kind of muffled and I couldn't make out what she was saying but she had tears in her eyes and I pulled out my ear plugs and she was able to tell me the news straight away.  Everyone from home started calling me.  It's wonderful."

Saoirse was previously nominated for an Oscar in 2008 when she was just  13 for her performance in Atonement, something she says went "over her head" at the time.

"It's a huge honour to be recognised now a second time, it's unreal," she said.

"I think to have gone through something like that when you are young, it was great, but to a certain extent it does go over your head a bi which is good. 

"I was away working at the time when I was nominated when I was younger so just to be able to embrace it now and because I've been part of the Brooklyn experience from the very beginning and I'm here with it now it's almost like watching a kid growing up, walking for the first time and going to school, it very much feels like we've all just been on this adventure from day one together."

The 21-year-old actress, who was born in New York, but grew up in Carlow, said she's "extra proud" to be representing an Irish film at this level.

"If you want to be recognised for anything for me to be able to be given so much kind of recognition and have a film seen on such a kind of large scale that's Irish and very very personal to me makes me extra proud," she said.

"Because it's a story that my mam and dad went through themselves.  They went to New York in the 80s and had the experience that Eilish did and to be able to kind of relive that and honour that story and beginning that whole journey back home in Ireland..."

"When we were there two years ago RTE came down and were broadcasting the whole thing and everyone came out in Enniscorthy to support us.  That's the wonderful thing about home, we're so small as well, we naturally sort of have an underdog mentality so when anyone is able to represent us we really get behind them. 

"I could feel that when I waws back at home and to have that film that means so much to me and began where I grew up literally do so well couldn't mean more to me."

'It's amazing beginner's luck with my very first screenplay' - Emma Donoghue on Oscar nomination  

Saoirse bagged just one of nine nominations for Irish stars and filmmakers for this year's Oscars with the Irish film Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson picking up four.

The actress believes there's a "movement" starting in Irish film.

"When we took [Brooklyn] to Sundance last year Lenny was there with Room and I've seen him since and a lot of other filmmakers kind of joined together to celebrate Irish film even a year ago I really do feel like it's a genuine movement starting at home, things are starting to bubble up and I feel like filmmakers are becoming a bit braver and making the stories they want to make a little bit more more, because of Brooklyn and Room hopefully doing so well.

"And to be part of that shift and see it happen is really, really exciting because I want to be involved in as many Irish films as I can, for as long as I'm doing this.  It's something that has always been very important to me, and to have the first Irish film that you do be part of this real push is brilliant.  Long may it continue."

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