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Thursday 23 May 2019

'I didn't want to just play a wife or a girlfriend' - Saoirse Ronan speaks about her career choices in Dublin

Saoirse Ronan and Sinead Burke pictured at the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast event in the O'Reilly Theatre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Saoirse Ronan and Sinead Burke pictured at the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast event in the O'Reilly Theatre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Saoirse Ronan and Sinead Burke pictured at the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast event in the O'Reilly Theatre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Saoirse Ronan and Sinead Burke pictured at the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast event in the O'Reilly Theatre. Picture: Gerry Mooney
Sinead Burke takes part in the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast with Scarlett Curtis in the O'Reilly Hall in Belvedere College Dublin. Picture: Owen Breslin
Saoirse Ronan takes part in the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast with Scarlett Curtis in the O'Reilly Hall in Belvedere College Dublin. Picture: Owen Breslin
Saoirse Ronan takes part in the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast with Scarlett Curtis in the O'Reilly Hall in Belvedere College Dublin. Picture: Owen Breslin
Saoirse Ronan attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Allison Bray

Hollywood star Saoirse Ronan attributes her success to no-nonsense female role models and the “fighting Irish” spirit.

Speaking in Dublin last night as part of a panel discussion on feminism, the Carlow-born actress credits her mother and aunt with instilling in her a sense of independence and strength.

She said such attributes have helped her forge strong characters in her career, which began when she was just 13.

She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as a precocious teen in 2007 film Atonement.

“I had a lot of strong Irish women around me who didn’t take any s**t,” she told the audience at the O’Reilly Theatre.

“I grew up with women who felt strongly about independence and passed it on to their girls,” she said.

Saoirse Ronan takes part in the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast with Scarlett Curtis in the O'Reilly Hall in Belvedere College Dublin. Picture: Owen Breslin
Saoirse Ronan takes part in the Feminists Don't Wear Pink podcast with Scarlett Curtis in the O'Reilly Hall in Belvedere College Dublin. Picture: Owen Breslin

The 25-year-old, who has three Academy Award nominations and a Golden Globe award, has played feisty lead roles, including a teenage assassin, and a murdered woman who seeks closure to her untimely death in The Lovely Bones.

“I didn’t want to just play a wife or a girlfriend. It was totally selfish really and I didn’t want to be bored,” she said.

She also said she is proud of the strides Irish women have made in recent years in rejecting patriarchy, which she believes is part of the fighting Irish spirit.

“I do think we’ve got this fire in us. We are fighters. There’s this spirit in us that has just not gone away.“

She joined Irish writer and campaigner Sinead Burke in a podcast as part of the Feminists Don’t Wear Pink series curated by feminist writer Scarlett Curtis, who was moderator.

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