Wednesday 17 October 2018

Saoirse Ronan's primary school teacher reveals her very first role, and it's adorable

Saoirse Ronan arriving at the UK premiere of the film 'Atonement' at the Odeon in Leicester Square on September 4, 2007 in London, England. 'Atonement' is based on a best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, directed by Joe Wright and stars James McAvoy and Keira Knightly. (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan arriving at the UK premiere of the film 'Atonement' at the Odeon in Leicester Square on September 4, 2007 in London, England. 'Atonement' is based on a best-selling novel by Ian McEwan, directed by Joe Wright and stars James McAvoy and Keira Knightly. (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan attends the premiere of Focus Features' 'Atonement' at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on December 6, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan was just 12 in her break out role in Atonement
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Saoirse Ronan started honing her exceptional acting talent very early in life, reveals her former primary school teacher.

The Carlow native is just 23 but already boasts three Oscar nominations for roles in Atonement, Brooklyn, and Lady Bird and we'll find out if tonight is her night to finally win at the 90th Academy Awards.

Fans of Irish TV series The Clinic will remember a Cherub-faced nine-year-old Saoirse impressing in her role as Rihannon Geraghty, before a stint on Proof as Orla.

Read more: WATCH: A 'young and feisty' Saoirse Ronan making her debut in RTE series Proof

2008: Saoirse Ronan in green at her first Oscars ceremony.
2008: Saoirse Ronan in green at her first Oscars ceremony.

But even at the age of five she loved performing, as her former teacher at Ardattin primary school in Carlow, Kathleen Bolger, reveals.

Kathleen, who retired from teaching in 2004, taught Saoirse for four years from Junior Infants.  At that stage the school had just two classrooms.

"I remember her very first role was as a tree," Kathleen told Independent.ie.  "She was great.  She loved it.  All the children loved dressing up as trees, butterflies, flowers at that age."

In Senior Infants she played a rat in The Pied Piper of Hamlin, and Kathleen recalls she was "a very good rat!", adding that Saoirse progressed to playing the Pied Piper himself the following year.

"The parents were all very good about helping to make their costumes and I remember Monica [Saoirse's mum] making a cloak for her to play the Pied Piper."

The children performed their plays on stage for their parents at the hall opposite the school in Ardattin village.  It was the very first time Saoirse tread the boards.

Less than two decades later, in 2016, she made her Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed The Crucible in 2016 and she has a body of work spanning more than 20 films.

Read more: 'Some actors are naturals, Saoirse's almost unnatural' 

'Everyone talks about her accent but her mam and dad are as Dublin as can be' - friends of Saoirse Ronan 

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