Saturday 10 December 2016

'I’ve never confessed' - Saoirse Ronan opens up about her Catholic upbringing

Meadhbh McGrath

Published 24/03/2016 | 11:22

Actress Saoirse Ronan attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Actress Saoirse Ronan attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan at the Oscars.
Actress Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan

Actress Saoirse Ronan has opened up about her Catholic upbringing, revealing that she had doubts about her faith and never confessed to a priest.

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Although she was born in New York’s Bronx neighbourhood in 1994, both of her parents are Irish, and they returned to Ireland when she was just three years old.

Saoirse was raised a Roman Catholic, and attended mass every Sunday with her parents.

“As a Catholic you grow up believing that there’s an answer for everything, and a reason for everything,” she said in an interview with Flaunt magazine.

Actress Saoirse Ronan
Actress Saoirse Ronan

The Carlow native made her First Communion and her Confirmation, but even as a child, she questioned her faith.

When it came time to make her first confession to a priest, she said: “I was six years old, and I had nothing to confess.

“I remember all of us kids were like ‘what are we going to say? Do we make something up like, we cheated on our homework or in an exam?”’

The 21-year-old continued: “Even as a kid, I didn’t feel like it was right for us to make up something just for the sake of it. So I said to my mum and dad, ‘I’m not doing it.’ I said no. So I’ve never confessed.”

Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan

The actress also reflected on one of her lines from the Oscar-nominated film Brooklyn, in which her character describes Ireland as “calm, charming, and civilised”.

“Calm and civilised? Maybe. We are definitely very fun. And we’re honest. And yes, maybe we are a little bit charming.”

Saoirse’s next big screen role will be in On Chesil Beach, her second Ian McEwan adaptation after 2007’s Atonement, which earned her her first Oscar nod.

On Chesil Beach was something I had wanted to do for years but I wasn’t the right age until recently,” she said.

“I haven’t seen Ian in years! That was another draw for me to the project, we all shared a very special experience when we made Atonement and Ian was so supportive and relaxed about it all.

“Getting to work on another adaptation of his work is so exciting because I’m a huge fan but also because I just love Ian as a person.”

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