Saturday 1 November 2014

The force is with Saoirse as she bids to wield a lightsaber in 'Star Wars'

Nicola Anderson and Emma Jane Hade

Published 03/10/2013 | 05:00

An artist's impression of Saoirse in 'Star Wars' with Harrison Ford as Han Solo

SHE has firmly cemented her status as 21st Century Hollywood royalty and is a mesmerising star of the silver screen. But Saoirse Ronan is focusing on a parallel universe right now – confirming that she has auditioned for a role in 'Star Wars: Episode VII'.

Rumours are swirling that she is set to play Jaina, the daughter of Carrie Fisher's Leia and Harrison Ford's Han Solo.

But despite the Hollywood royalty tag, the 'Lovely Bones' star modestly confessed that while she did audition for a part, "so has everyone".

Amongst the cohort Ronan may be up against is 'Kick-Ass' star Chloe Grace Moretz, who has previously stated that she would "kill" for a role in 'Star Wars'.

If she does land the role, Ronan's co-stars, aside from Fisher and Ford, are rumoured to include fellow Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers and British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Pegg.

The new film is the first in a new trilogy of the franchise, to be made by Disney after the studio picked up all 'Star Wars' rights through its $4bn (€2.9bn) purchase of Lucasfilm last October.

The 19-year-old Carlow actress – who has already proven that she can carry an action movie with 'Hanna' – said she had auditioned but refused point blank to reveal any further details, saying the producers would "chop off her head with a lightsaber" if she let anything slip.

The film is to be directed by 'Star Trek's JJ Abrams and written by 'Toy Story 3's Michael Arndt.

Full production is expected to begin in the new year, with casting announcements expected to be made soon.

Told yesterday of Ronan's latest exploits, her former teacher and school principal, Paddy McInerney, said that her talents were evident from a young age as a child growing up in the quiet village of Ardattin, Co Carlow.

"We do a concert every year and she would have been involved in that. She was very good.

"She was a very nice girl. Academically she was very good," said the teacher, who remembers her as an "all rounder" who was good at sport.

Irish Independent

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