This is the big one for Saoirse
BAFTA-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan finally arrived in Dublin last night for the premiere of Peter Jackson's film 'The Lovely Bones' and said it was the one she was most looking forward to.
After spending the last few weeks at first nights of the film in Sydney, Wellington, Los Angeles and London, the 15-year-old star found herself outside Dublin's Savoy theatre having her name shouted by photographers.
"I've been all over the world with this film but the Irish premiere was the one I was most looking forward too. It's really important because this is my home, where my family and friends live. To be here and share a film which I care about so much is really wonderful," Ronan told the Irish Independent.
Wearing a vintage black moschino dress despite the winter chill, the actress, already nominated for an Oscar for the 2007 film 'Atonement', said she considered as "hype" speculation that she could be up for another Oscar when the list of nominees are announced next month.
"It may happen, it may not, at the moment it's only hype. I really don't know what way it's going to go," she said.
While on her recent Bafta nomination she said: "I was delighted to be nominated, and very happy for Stanley (her co-star in the film Stanley Tucci). I thought he might well get the nod, but it was a genuine lovely surprise to hear I had got one too."
Organisers of last night's premiere had hoped that co-stars Stanley Tucci and Susan Sarandon, along with Rachel Weisz, who plays her mother in the film, would attend the Irish night but it wasn't possible.
"It was just a scheduling thing, but I've had messages from all of them. They would really like to have been here tonight."
Her dad, actor Paul Ronan, was there to speak of his pride at his daughter's first big night in Dublin.
"Saoirse has worked very hard while learning and growing as an actress. She has handled herself very well so we're proud of all that."
He was asked if his daughter is experiencing a normal adolescence. "This is normal for her. What is normal? It depends on what you do and where you are. She has become a famous actress now, you travel around and work on films and go home, publicise films and start again. She has her friends in Carlow as well as New York and New Zealand who she does normal teenage things with."
Among the VIPs attending the screening was TV host Ryan Tubridy. "I've been a big fan of Saoirse for ages. The moment I saw her in 'Atonement' with her little clipped accent I thought a star is born.
"I love it, she is modern Ireland, she is the future and I am moving into middle age now so I'm welcoming the future," said Tubridy, who said he had tried reading the novel by Alice Sebold, on which the film was based, but gave up because it was too upsetting.
"I abandoned the book but I will watch the movie instead," he said.
'The Lovely Bones' tells the story of the rape and murder of 14-year-old Susie Salmon.
Director Peter Jackson has described it as "probably one of the hardest films I have ever made".
Last night's premiere was followed by a VIP function in St Stephen's Green members club Residence.