Wednesday 24 January 2018

Saoirse Ronan admits she's 'terrified' of Broadway debut in The Crucible and bemoans lack of roles for women her age

Saoirse Ronan at the recent London premiere of 'Brooklyn'
Saoirse Ronan at the recent London premiere of 'Brooklyn'
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

She's a bona fide Hollywood star who has seamlessly transitioned from child star to successful adult actor but there's one aspect of her craft which still daunts Saoirse Ronan - theatre.

The 21-year-old is currently treading the publicity trail for her latest film Brooklyn, but it scheduled to play Abigail in The Crucible on Broadway in New York from January.

"It's The Crucible - no pressure!" she joked to Pat Kenny on Newstalk.  "It's terrifying.  No pressure at all playing Abigail.  I'm terrified.

"A journalist asked me when I was away, 'have you started thinking about The Crucible' and I haven't thought about anything else but the play for the last year and a half."

Saoirse Ronan in a still from the hit film Brooklyn
Saoirse Ronan in a still from the hit film Brooklyn

It will be Saoirse's very first foray into treading the boards despite a Hollywood career with films including Atonement, Hanna, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Lovely Bones under her belt.

"It's completely new territory for me," she added.  "I didn't ever train.  I've never done a play before apart from playing a tree in a school play when I was six.

"I felt like I did a good job.  I represented that tree!"

Saoirse currently lives in Ireland but will be moving to New York in January.

"After [the play] I'm going to spend my time between New York and Ireland," she revealed.

"I've realised working there over the summer how well Ireland and New York compliment each other.  There are so many of us over there.  You can celebrate where you come from, no matter where that may be."

Saoirse, who was born in New York to Dublin parents, added, "I'll have gone full circle by the time January comes."

Speaking about her Dublin accent (despite the fact she grew up in Carlow, her parents are from Dublin), she said she thinks "it has gotten stronger since I've gone away".

"I would never change my accent," she said, "It's your identity."

She added, "I spend time at home whenever i can, again like your accent, you don’t want to lose touch with where you come from. [People at home] will let you know [if you lose touch], they'll let you know in an instant - 'Where do you think you're going?'".

Of her transition from child star to respected adult actor, she said "it wasn't seamless, it didn't feel that way".

"I was so lucky I got to do great things over the last few years, Grand Budapest and all that, but I really felt from the ages of 18/19 to 21/22, executives and producers and studios and wheover else don't really know what to do with girls who are that age," she said.

"It's a middle ground.  You can't do coming of age necessarily any more, you can't do high school dramas, but you're still not 'woman' enough in their eyes so it's hard to find roles if you're actually about the work and playing a decent character."

Saoirse feels she's finally "starting to come out of it now" thanks in the main to Brooklyn, the big screen adaptation of Colm Toibin's best-seller.

"It's such an interesting time, I don't understand why more stories aren't written around guys and girls that age," she added.

"You're not a child anymore, you're adapting to be an adult, and you don't know what the hell your'e doing, where you stand, who you are in relation to work, in relation to people.  It's all turned on its head around the age of 20 so it's an interesting time to play."

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